Relative Political and Value Proximity in Mediated Public Diplomacy: The Effect of State-Level Homophily on International Frame Building

Tamir Sheafer*, Shaul R. Shenhav, Janet Takens, Wouter van Atteveldt

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

75 Scopus citations

Abstract

This article applies the homophily thesis to public diplomacy and offers an empirical examination of a country's success in its mediated public diplomacy efforts. It analyzes international frame building, the process of creating or changing media frames in the international communications arena, by applying it to the case of Israeli mediated public diplomacy efforts during the war in Gaza in the winter of 2008-2009. The article claims that one way to use the homophily thesis in empirical analyses of international frame-building campaigns in conflicts is to measure the political and value proximity of a country promoting frames to other countries. Yet, proximity should be measured relatively rather than in absolute terms. Therefore, one should look not only at the dyadic proximity between two actors (i.e., Country A that attempts to promote its frames to Country C), but at the relative proximity between Countries A and C considering the proximity between the rival Country B and the target Country C. The study proposes a model and a method to facilitate empirical analysis of this claim. Using sophisticated computerized content analysis, our analyses demonstrate that relative proximity is related to successful international frame building in the hypothesized direction: The closer the relative proximity between Israel and a foreign country, the greater the acceptance of Israel's views.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)149-167
Number of pages19
JournalPolitical Communication
Volume31
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2014

Keywords

  • frame building
  • media and conflict
  • mediated public diplomacy

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