Introduction: The Soft Power of War. Legitimacy and Community in Iraq War Discources

Lilie Chouliaraki

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    This article focuses on legitimacy and community in Iraq war discourses. The Iraq war, officially declared in March-April 2003, took place in the midst of a fierce controversy about the reasons for and the possible effects of the US/Great Britain's coalition's decision to invade the country and abolish the Saddam Hussein regime. The legitimacy of the war and, consequently, a consensual view of what the international community is and wants to be were the two crucial stakes of the controversy. If the aim of soft power is solid and concrete, to establish symbolically the legitimacy of war and, with it, the legitimacy of a new world 'vision,' the manner through which soft power operates is multiple and diffused. This is where the distinction between the two types of discourse, political and media discourse, comes into focus. The domain of politics can be strictly defined in terms of specific institutional practices, such as parliamentary hearings and public speeches.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalJournal of Language & Politics
    Issue number1
    Pages (from-to)1-10
    Number of pages10
    Publication statusPublished - 2005

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