International Politics Media and Conflict


Gabriel Alier Riak Achot
Dut Bol Ayuel Bill


 Nation States (in the sense of government endeavor to attain the legitimacy and political stability especially in the Third World in their quest for socio-economic development) are endowed differently with resources. These resources, which are in various forms, and are at different levels, are needed by others for their power, development and survival. Thus the interdependent nature of the relations among nation  states  (asymmetry  in  some  cases)  necessitate  the  need  for  states  to strategize their policies vis-a-avis others. This must be done in an international environment of the ever-present threat of war and destruction Scholars in Peace and Conflict research are well aware of the communications revolution and the media is often mentioned as an important factor. Having said this, like many policy-makers, the media is either assumed to be all-powerful or irrelevant. There are relatively few systematic studies concerning the media and conflict, although interest and the number publications concerning the issue continue to increase and accumulate. Causes of conflict are often divided up into root causes and direct causes. Root causes are related to causes that stem from long-term, large-scale structural factors and these may not always be manifest. Economic factors and political structures are often considered typical root causes. Direct causes resemble trigger events such as, a sudden change in policy, an economic downturn, or a symbolic threat. Reactions as a result of direct causes are more immediate.  Root causes are present in all phases of a conflict, including before a conflict escalates to violence and exists even when the conflict is latent. For example, a certain group may be marginalized or excluded from participating in a political system but until voices are heard that contest this exclusion the conflict is not manifest. It is in such situations that conflicts or tensions may be submerged, to successively escalate and transform a latent conflict into a manifest and violent conflict.


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