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Frame Justification and Resonance in Conflict-related Discourse: Legitimation strategies in the public construction of collective conflicts


Pacifying, containing, and preventing collective conflict is one of the key challenges for the peace project of European foreign and security policy. In this context, the symbolic, discursive and psychological roots of group conflict have recently come into focus: Collective conflict requires social support, including the willingness of constituencies to condone or participate in conflict actions, commit the necessary resources, and tolerate hardship caused by conflict. Strategic propaganda and the targeted infusion of media with conflict-related frames play a key role in rendering conflict actions palatable to domestic and international audiences. However, to date, we know virtually nothing about how conflict-related frames become established and dominant within a public debate, shaping the conflict perceptions of entire societies. To successfully counteract propaganda and incendiary frames, we need to understand how frames come to resonate within a public debate.
This project analyzes how actors justify conflict frames and successfully embed them within public debate. It investigates how conflict frames mobilize common values, beliefs, and interests to appear legitimate. The project addresses the factors that shape the public resonance of conflict-related interpretations, and build societal support for hostile collective action. It builds upon trans-disciplinary research in communication, political science, and social psychology, and links in contributions from linguistics, sociology, and cultural studies. Its research interest derives from conflict prevention and peace studies, and addresses pressing theoretical concerns in the study of conflict and communication dynamics. Drawing upon Christian Baden’s expertise in dynamic framing in discourse, Tamir Sheafer pioneering work on frame advocacy, and the Hebrew U’s diverse research conflict-related discourse, the project advances research in framing and discourse and informs conflict management and prevention.

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Edmond J Safra Campus Givat Ram
91904 Jerusalem
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
EU contribution
€ 184 558,80
Administrative Contact
Hani Ben-Yehuda (Ms.)