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Between two and three million workers are paid less than the minimum wage. More than three million are misclassified by their employers as independent contractors when they are really employees, allowing employers to shirk their share of payroll taxes and to illegally deny workers overtime pay. Even the Economic Policy Foundation, a business- funded think tank, estimated that companies annually steal 19 billion dollars in unpaid overtime.

The scope of these abuses is staggering, and in response, activists, unions, and policymakers are beginning to take notice. Bobo offers a sweeping analysis of the crisis, citing hard-hitting statistics and heartbreaking first-person accounts of exploitation at the hands of employers.

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She then offers concrete solutions, with special attention to what a new Presidential administration can do to address one of the gravest issues facing workers in the 21st-century. She offers bold, practical, and progressive solutions for how policymakers and advocates can end the growing crisis of wage theft in America. Some surprise has been expressed in the Anglo-Saxon world that should have presented a book to Barack Obama by Eduardo Galeano.

Ignorance can be the only defence, the very fault that the had earlier accused his US counterpart of suffering from. His books have been continuously in print since the s, read voraciously by successive generations. He writes as an anthropologist, but also as a participant observer in the Gray Panther movement during the s and '80s.

A long-time national staff member of the Presbyterian Church, Kuhn was instrumental in the founding and shaping of the Gray Panthers as an organization advocating for the rights of "senior citizens," when that was a new thing in U. TeSelle notes that this book reminds us that the Panthers achieved results in part because they refused to be a "single issue" organization focused on the interests of the ageing -- but pointed always toward a wider range of social justice issues.

Jack Rogers announces the soon-to-be published second edition of Jesus, the Bible, and Homosexuality [] Rogers writes: I am delighted to announce that today is the official publication day for the updated and expanded second edition of my book, Jesus, the Bible, and Homosexuality: Explode the Myths, Heal the Church!

We know that they are accepting pre-orders and that some people have already received the book. You can pre-order the book on Amazon by clicking here. The revised and expanded edition includes all of the material from the first edition plus: Updates on recent developments within the Presbyterian Church U. I hope the new edition will make a helpful contribution to the conversation about equal rights in church and society for people who are LGBT. Together we are building a church for all God's people. A book review by Arch Taylor. The recorded history of humankind is replete with stories of war and bloodshed.

Consequently, most people resignedly assume that making war must be a natural characteristic of human nature, or at least of the masculine half. Fry challenges that conclusion, drawing on the evidence provided by careful research into the evolutionary development of humankind. Modern Homo sapiens has been in existence for at least 50, years, Homo for over a million years prior to that, and earlier still pre-hominids such as Australopithecines for even more millions.

During this great length of time our forebears lived in small, nomadic hunter-gatherer groups characterized by egalitarianism and generosity, and maintaining themselves by developing means of limiting violence and keeping peace without resort to warfare. This type of behavior has been verified in surviving hunter-gatherer groups.

When Europeans first settled Australia, they found an estimated , aboriginals, none of whom knew agriculture, but all living in typical small hunter-gatherer groups in which warfare was a rarity. There was, indeed, violence such as homicide and revenge killing, and cases where small kinship groups engaged in violent retaliation or feud, but this was always a matter of a few individuals acting against known opponents on a personal basis.

Archaeological evidence, Fry finds, shows that warfare is actually a very recent feature of human society, having first occurred only about 10, years Before the Present time BP. Warfare in the proper sense appeared only with the change from simple hunter-gatherer social organization to sedentary, materially rich and socially stratified communities, that is, after the agricultural revolution. The increase in wealth and development of hierarchical social structures provided the conditions under which warfare began to occur.

Fry adopts this definition of warfare properly so called from Roy Prosterman, author of Surviving to A group activity carried on by members of one community against members of another community, in which it is the primary purpose to inflict serious injury or death on multiple nonspecified members of that other community. A beneficial result of the more highly organized social organization was, however, the discouragement of self-redress on the part of individuals.

Revenge killing and family feuding gave way to the establishment of internal law and order and the organization of police and courts to deal with crime. Fry celebrates the human capacity to make such an advance. Unfortunately, as he notes, within the broader community of nations, humankind is still stuck in the mode of self-redress. We are faced with the challenge of bringing the sheriff and the judge to the global Wild West.

Fry remains optimistic, however, because of his faith in evolution. Our developmental process has not predestined us to constant warfare. Surely we have the capacity to get beyond war. The book has unusual richness and concreteness as Beisswenger narrates his encounters with prisoners, prison staff, and many people on the "outside. And he also gives an account of his own spiritual growth and the things that made prison life bearable. Jim Wallis of Sojourners gained wide attention three years ago for the religious perspectives of the left, arguing that the right should have no monopoly on spiritual and moral concerns in political life.

His new book, The Great Awakening: A revival of faith, he argues, is the only force big enough to take on the greatest challenges of our time: You can read more about the book, and even order it, by clicking on the Amazon. Why the Conservative Turn in the Catholic Church? First he considers how these tensions have affected Catholic bishops around the world, many of whom especially in Latin America have struggled with the tension between engagement in progressive social movements, and ecclesiastical resistance to such activities.

Second, he looks at efforts by Catholics, as members of one of the most diverse organizations in the world, to deal with global tensions ranging from the Cold War to the current struggles over globalization. Nurturing the global community of the Catholic Church in the midst of all these tensions presents great challenges. And those challenges are sharpened by the third reality: The book is Vatican II: The full essay -- and a link to order the book. Witherspooner Ross Kinsler publishes new book on theological education: Ross Kinsler is a Witherspoon member, has been a participant in some of the Ghost Ranch Seminars co-sponsored by the Witherspoon Society and the Presbyterian Peace Fellowship, and has provided good material for this website before.

Click here for Ross and his wife Gloria's thoughts on the Biblical principle of Jubilee in relation to the increasingly globalized economy. The central concern of Diversified Theological Education, which includes Theological Education by Extension, is access. TEE and DTE models have made enormous progress in the urgent task of opening access to and equipping all God's people for ministry and mission. This has many interrelated dimensions: Geographical, economic, cultural, ecclesiastical, gender, race, class, pedagogical, and spiritual access. Naomi Klein has recently published an ambitious history of neoliberalism, The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism , which has attracted lots of attention recently -- both pro and con.

Christopher Hayes, the Washington Editor of the Nation , offers a thoughtful summary and commentary on the book, on the In These Times website. He summarizes it in one sentence: The radically altered situation today in religion, politics, and global communication -- what can broadly be characterized as postmodern and postcolonial -- necessitates close rereading of Christianity's classical sources, especially its theologians. New Readings of Classical Theologians , twenty-nine distinguished scholars scrutinize the relationship between empire and Christianity from Paul to the liberation theologians of our time.

The contributors discuss how the classical theologians in different historical periods dealt with their own contexts of empire and issues such as center and margin, divine power and social domination, war and violence, gender hierarchy, and displacement and diaspora.

Terrorism, War, and Bush 43: Crash Course US History #46

Each chapter provides insights and resources drawn from the classical theological tradition to address the current political situation. Empire and The Christian Tradition is a unique textbook anthology ideal for classroom use. Kwok Pui-Lan is William F. This new book looks at the relation between "Christ and empire" with depth and a recognition of the always ambivalent relationships between faith and political power.

Globalization has been a matter of concern to the Witherspoon Society for some years. It was a focus of much discussion at the Ghost Ranch Week of Peace , and will again be discussed at the coming Witherspoon conference in Louisville , Sept.

Surprisingly vehement demonstrations at meetings of the World Trade Organization and International Monetary Fund have left many observers perplexed: What is the problem? In her new book, Shaking the Gates of Hell: Faith-Led Resistance to Corporate Globalization , Sharon Delgado provides an eye-opening look at corporate globalization and spiritually motivated resistance to it.

Shaking the Gates of Hell astutely analyzes the major threats facing humanity that are exacerbated by economic globalization, provides an invaluable overview of the global economy and its institutional functioning, and offers a powerful vision for faith-led resistance and hope for transformation. Global economic integration is harmful, maintains Delgado, since it undermines spiritual and cultural values, threatens local economies and mores, vitiates human rights, precipitates rapid environmental decline, and leaves a string of economic victims in its wake.

Key to this process, she observes, are corporations. Shaking the Gates of Hell proposes a way for people of faith to respond to the growing power of corporations and their domination of the world's cultures, governments, and global institutions, and to develop creative alternatives. Part One analyzes major threats facing humanity that are exacerbated by economic globalization: Part Two provides an overview of the global economy and adroitly sketches the structure, ideology, and functioning of economic globalization and the institutional "Powers.

Part Three asks what people of faith can do about this global crisis, and points to Jesus as one who demonstrates the power of faith-led resistance and hope for transformation. Reflecting on her participation in nonviolent direct resistance against these Powers, and describing movements of global justice, such as they have emerged in Chiapas, Cochabamba, Nigeria, Argentina, India, and Kenya, Delgado prepares Christians for faith-led resistance as a way of life.

Sharon Delgado is an ordained United Methodist minister and is founder and executive director of Earth Justice Ministries. A longtime activist and advocate for peace, justice, and the environment, she lives in Nevada City, California. By Sharon Delgado Format: The Horrors We Bless: A book note from the Rev. Daniel Maguire, who is Professor of Moral Theological Ethics at Marquette University, aims "to challenge the seductive power of war that so grips and hobbles our imaginations.

The burden of proof intended to rest upon the warrior now rests upon the conscientious objector. Maguire has the gift of truth-telling in such a way that you can see. Noting how we have sanitized the idea of war, Maguire observes: It is acceptable for people to become 'Civil War buffs,' or 'Revolutionary War buffs. Rightly used, just-war theory would insist that international force be deployed only " in a community context with legal and internationally enforceable restrictions comparable to the restraints we put upon our police.

The formula is easy enough: Grounds for hope abound: Excellent for study groups: In his new book, CIA analyst, distinguished scholar, and best-selling author Chalmers Johnson argues that US military and economic overreach may actually lead to the nation's collapse as a constitutional republic. It's the last volume in his Blowback trilogy, following the best-selling "Blowback" and "The Sorrows of Empire.

Jane Smith

In an interview with Amy Goodman, Johnson summarizes his argument from the book. Johnson says early in the hour that he is serious about the subtitle of his book: A nation can be one or the other, a democracy or an imperialist, but it can't be both. If it sticks to imperialism, it will, like the old Roman Republic, on which so much of our system was modeled, like the old Roman Republic, it will lose its democracy to a domestic dictatorship.

At the end of the interview, he laments the seemingly inevitable and increasing reliance of the US on the "military-industrial complex," about which Americans have been warned by leaders from George Washington to Dwight Eisenhower. Amy Goodman asks whether he sees any hope. A recent book offer tools for reflection and action in a global economy Justice in a Global Economy: In addition to the editors, contributors include John B. Even the small percentage of us who have examined the ethics behind our financial decisions and overcome the often-deterring factors of self-interest rarely know what to do to make any difference.

Beginning with a basic introduction to the impact of economic globalization, these ethicists and theologians provide both critical assessments of the current political-economic structures and examples of people and communities who are actively working to transform society. Each chapter concludes with questions for discussion and reflection.

Just send a note. Their point is that "out of Iraq" is precisely where the US needs to get. They suggest that America should help fund and create an effective national police force, along with helping to establish an international force that would help police the country until the national force takes shape. Some of the other steps would include the release of all prisoners of war, and closing of all detention centers; support for a national reconstruction corps; removal of all private security firms; support for rebuilding, using Iraqi rather than American firms to do the work; financial reparations to Iraqis for loss of life and property Berry Craig lives in western Kentucky, where being Christian and being conservative Republican are pretty much the same thing.

Politics, media and war: 9/11 and its aftermaths

So he appreciates a book by John Danforth, a retired U. Senator who says that ain't necessarily so. Danforth is both Christian and Republican, but says you can be both without being narrowly conservative. Danforth's book is titled Faith and Politics: Theological Task Force member releases new book supporting committed same-gender relationships.

Same-Gender Relationships in Religion, Law, and Politics , in which he analyzes seven different ways that churches have dealt with same-sex unions. His analysis leads him to offer support of same-sex committed relationships. You can look at the book, published by Eerdmans, on the publisher's website. This book offers a variety of materials dealing with globalization as it impacts us in our daily lives, along with strategies for dealing with it in our homes and communities, as well as in the public policy arena. This should be a great resource for study and action in the congregation.

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Paul's Letter to the Romans [Minneapolis: Fortress Press, ], ix. On this point, see Neil Ellior:. Introducing the Way of Discipleship, eds. Wes Howard-Brook and Sharon H. Orbis, , Karl Barth, The Epistle to the Romans , trans. Oxford, , 9, Religious Engagement and Social Transformation , ed. Fundamental Concepts of Liberation Theology , eds. Ignacio Ellacurfa and Jon Sobrino Maryknoll: A Documentary History, , eds.

Wilmore and James H. West's discussion in Prophesy Deliverance! Westminster John Knox, , 9S For a theological critique of the disciplines of capitalist culture, see Daniel M. Christianity and Global Culture Industries Boulder:. Jameson, The Political Unconscious , Parenti uses the language of reading "against the grain": The Assassination of Julius Caesar , I've argued this case in Liberating Paul , 1S Cobb and Lull point out that Paul's audience could hardly be expected to take direct political action aimed to changing or "reforming" the Roman Empire Romans , They insist nevertheless that his insistence on loyalty "faithfulness" to Christ alone would have been a powerful implicit challenge to imperial claims on the allegiance of individuals.

Jameson, The Political Unconscious , 7S Gottwald, The Hebrew Bible: Jameson discusses the necessary revision of an early Marxist "sequence" of modes of production to recognize the simultaneity of incompatible modes of production, some ascendant, some vestigial, and others only anticipated: Sheffield Academic, , Miguel De La Torre speaks of "unmasking" racism and sexism in biblical interpretation: Reading the Bible from the Margins Maryknoll: Orbis, , chaps.

Much to the same point, Ignacio Ellacuria has written of uncovering a civilization of capital," which is "the most basic form of structural violence" Ellacuria, uncovering a Civilization of Capital"; Cornel West, of "unmasking falsehoods" Prophesy Deliverance! Galinsky,Augustan Culture , PUB, , ; and]. Beranger, Recherches sur aspect ideologique du principat Basel: PUB, 19S3 , llS. Cobb and Lull set the resemblance between Roman and American imperialism at the foreground of their commentary of the letter: Gary Dorrien responds theologically to different meanings of empire current in U.

Problems and Prospects," in Horsley, Paul and Politics , 39 Romans provides "a direct challenge to the ritual and ceremony of empire". Marshall has provided an insightful critique of such language, for which I am grateful: Schussler Fiorenza, The Power of the Word , 13 and passim. See most recently Schussler Fiorenza, Rhetoric and Ethic. Cohen, The Beginnings of Jewishness: University of California Press, , Esler, Conflict and Identity in Romans: Malina and John J.

Pilch have argued that observations about first-century Judeans "have little if anything to do" with modern Jews, the "vast majority" of whom are genetically descended from "non-Semitic," physiognomically "northern" ninth-century Central Asian converts, the Khazars Social-Scientific Commentary on Paul's Letters [Minneapolis: Fortress Press; ], ,The peculiar terms in which this argument is made suggest that it is Malina and Pilch, far more than most modern Jews, who are obsessed with a racial understanding of ethnicity. I endorse Amy-Jill Levine's urgent protest that in the hands of some interpreters, translating " ioudaios " as Judean can mean sundering the connection between ancient Ioudaioi and modern Jews: HarperSanFrancisco, , S and specifi,cally eschew those implications of the word Judean here.

This was the burden of my argument in The Rhetoric of Romans. I have quoted George A. Westminster, , ; Stanley K. Some measure of the breadth of this perception is the diversity of interpreters who profess it: Kendrick Grobel New York: Orbis, , 9; and James D. Eerdmans, , 2S The clear subordination of 1: Jewett declares as "fully justified" the consensus that 1: Hendrickson, , , in the conviction that it illuminated the character of Romans as a letter-essay see Donfried's own essay, False Presuppositions in the Study of Romans," ibid. But precisely the key indicators of the genre that Stirewalt discusses-a statement of topic usually with the prepositional phrase peri Thus, for example, George A.

Kennedy described the letter as "more epideictic" than 1 Thessalonians because he presumed that in Romans, Paul wished to show the Romans "in advance what his gospel [would] be," and thus offered them "an example of the kind of preaching or teaching he [would] practice when among them" -a characterization of the letter in the subjunctive mood that Kennedy did not bother to defend, perhaps because he, like many other interpreters, regarded it as self-evident Kennedy, New Testament Interpretation , 1S2, ; similarly Aune, The New Testament in its Literary Environment , Klaus Berger, on the other hand, labeled the letter an example of protreptic rhetoric, a subcategory of deliberative rhetoric cdhcerned with showing the advantages of adopting a particular way oflife, because like Kennedy he read Romans as a treatise on the superiority of the Christian "way" to Judaism Klaus Berger, Formgeschichte des Neuen Testaments [Heidelberg: David Aune seeks to split the difference: Robert Jewett regards the letter as epideictic because it exhibits aspects of parenetic and hortatory speeches although these are regarded by other scholars as subcategories of deliberative rhetoric!

The Language of the Gospel London: Philo similarly described the "signs and wonders" chat Moses displayed to Pharaoh's court as the apodeixis confirming the words of God to the Egyptians On the Life of Moses 1. Louis Martyn's characterization of Paul's rhetoric in Galatians as a rhetoric of power: Paul wrote "in the confidence that God intended to cause a certain event to occur " when his letter was read. Paul does theology by writing in such a way as to anticipate a theological event he is the herald of a divine word "that is at its heart invasive rather than responsive" "Events in Galatia: A Response to J.

Gavenra," in Pauline Theology I: Thessalonians, Philippians,Galatians, Philemon [ed. Fortress Press, ], , emphasis in original. Sampley similarly observes chat Romans is nor about mission, it is mission at work," an "assertive intervention" in Rome "Romans in a Different Light: A Response"to Robert Jewett. Romans , , emphasis in original. Mark Reasoner, The Strong and the Weak: Cambridge University Press, , chap. Jewett, Romans , 46 and passim, relying on J. Lendon, Empire of Honour: Oxford University Press, Cicero, De republica 3.

The genre of the admonitory letter was well established in Paul's day. Here is the description attributed to Demetrius of Phalerum first century B. For admonition is the instilling of sense [ noun tithein ] in the person who is being admonished, and reaching him what should and should not be done" Pseudo-Demetrius, Epistolary Types. A Greco-Roman, Sourcebook Philadelphia: Westminster, , 81, and Stowers, Letter Writing , Stowers points our that Paul's expression of confidence in the Romans is "a rather typical On the phenomenon of paraenesis and paraenetic style, see Aune, Literary Environment of the New Testament , Furnish, Theology and Ethics in Paul Nashville: Abingdon, , , Theology for the Early Christian Mission Minneapolis: Augsburg Press, , Rudolf Bultmann, ' Theology 'of the New Testament , trans.

Kendrick Grabel New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, , 1: See my further discussion in Rhetoric of Romans , Dahl finds in Rom Gager in arguing that Romans must be interpreted as an argument directed to the explicit addressees, non-Judeans I wrote "Gentiles". Of course, this does not mean char there are no Judeans Jews in Paul's audience: But Stowers insists that "because Paul begins by explicidy describing his readers as gentiles, the interpreter can go step by step asking at what point the text introduces a new audience or subverts the explicit one"; as he shows, there is in fact no such point in the letter.

Stowers characterizes the contrary tendency among most interpreters; to insist that a Jewish-Christian minority is the direct target of much of the letter's argument, as an "obsession" chat leads interpreters co "erase the gentile audience and replace it with 'Christians, both Jews and gentiles. University of British Columbia Press, Oxford University Press, ; Stanley K.

Indeed, so powerful is this "obsession" that a few interpreters find it inconceivable that the letter should be read as it is addressed, that is, to non-Judeans. Esler asks, "can one seriously maintain that the letter was not addressed to Did they then sit or stand patiently for over an hour while the letter was read, all the while saying to themselves something like 'Very interesting, but of course Paul did nor intend chis teaching for us'? Similarly, Steve Mason has written chat it "strains the imagination" that Paul would have intended the letter's discussion of "typically Judaean questions" co find "any resonance with Gentile readers" Steve Mason, "'For I Am Not.

Sheffield Academic, ], ,To the contrary, what strains the imagination Js the suggestion that Paul would have expected the explicitly named addressees co sit out major sections of the letter without explaining that, or why, he was narrowing his focus to Judeans. Elliott, The Rhetoric of Romans. Esler makes similar observatioqs: Conflict and Identity in Romans , In Romans , Witherington writes, Paul "reads carefully through, what could be called common ground" before he "comes to grips with a major issue" in , "following which in chaps.

Campbell, "The Rule of Faith in Romans Romans , ; N. Wright, "Romans and the Theology of Paul," ibid. I will presume here many of the close rhetorical-critical arguments that I made in The Rhetoric of Romans. Jewett refers to a "consensus" regarding the historical situation of the letter Romans , 3, We'll have things fixed soon. Facebook Twitter Instagram Youtube. The Letters of Paul: Further Readings Laura Nasrallah.

The Arrogance of Nations. The Making of Paul Chap. Poverty in Pauline Studies: Beyond the So-called New Consensus. Paul Among Jews and Gentiles. The Power Of Images. Paul in Fresh Perspective Chap. Jesus, Paul and the Task of the Church. The Politics of Biblical Studies Chap.

Pauline Theology and the Politics of Meaning. Challenging the Rhetorical Half-Turn: Answering the Mail Toward a Radical Jewishness. Paul, the "jewish Problem," and the "Woman Question". The Corinthian Body Chap. The Rhetoric of the Body Politic. The Corinthian Women Prophets: Slavery in Early Christianity Body Work: Slavery and the Pauline Churches. Beyond the Heroic Paul. The Body in Greco-Roman Culture. Slaves In The New Testament: Literary, Social, and Moral Dimensions Introduction: Diplomacy has not yet reached the end of the road.

Only a year ago, we and the United States were part of a coalition against terrorism that was wider and more diverse than I would ever have imagined possible. History will be astonished at the diplomatic miscalculations that led so quickly to the disintegration of that powerful coalition. The US can afford to go it alone, but Britain is not a superpower.

Our interests are best protected not by unilateral action but by multilateral agreement and a world order governed by rules. Yet tonight the international partnerships most important to us are weakened: Those are heavy casualties of a war in which a shot has yet to be fired. In his view, the widespread perceptions of the lack of US wisdom regarding the invasion of Iraq has led to a general weakening of US legitimacy in the international arena.

As you read, take some notes on:. Cox identifies the particular problems facing US policy makers and the characteristics of contemporary US power. He also identifies a number of particular problems, which again raise questions about the nature of contemporary US power and how it might establish legitimacy for its current global activities Cox, In this part, we look at whether the war on terror has been a success for the US, using opposing viewpoints to argue the case for and against.

Not all observers have shared the doubts about US power reported in the previous section, and some have remained more sanguine about its global exercise. Click to view An American foreign policy for a unipolar world. Others also endorsed the globalist, democratic realist approach. Edward Luttwak, for one, thought that the Bush conduct of the war on terror has been largely successful:.

While anti-terrorist operations have been successful here and there in a patchy way, and the fate of Afghanistan remains in doubt, the far more important ideological war has ended with a spectacular global victory for President Bush. From Morocco to Indonesia, governments appeased militants at home while encouraging them to focus their violent activities abroad Other than the Algerian and Egyptian governments, every Muslim state preferred at least to coexist with militant preachers and jihadis in some way Sophisticates everywhere ridiculed the uncompromising Bush stance, "Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists," as a cowboy stunt, but it was swiftly successful.

Governments across the Muslim world quickly changed their conduct. Some moved energetically to close down local jihadist groups they had long tolerated, to silence extremist preachers and to keep out foreign jihadis they had previously welcomed. Suddenly, active Islamists and violent jihadists suffered a catastrophic loss of status. Instead of being admired, respected or at least tolerated, they had to hide, flee or give it up. Numbers started to shrink. The number of terrorist incidents outside the war zones of Afghanistan and Iraq keeps going down, while madrassas almost everywhere have preferred toning down their teachings to being shut down.

In Indonesia, the largest Muslim country, the dominant association of imams condemns all forms of violence without exception Bush forced the most dramatic reversal of policy. Jihadism has been largely confined to Iraq and the border zones of Pakistan. Writing in , he leaves the question of a third, or subsequent, rounds open although he does makes some suggestions as to the factors that might be decisive Nye, He also directs attention to the problematic nature of the global system that exists today and the absence of restraints on the imprudent exercise of power by the US.

Finally, what are the perceptions in other parts of the world, in the Middle East and the Arab World, an area of critical importance in terms of current military commitments and the ongoing struggle against jihadist terrorism? Some information on this question emerged in a symposium on the Middle East held in Washington in I have been polling in six countries — Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Jordan, the United Arab Emirates and Lebanon — for the past five years with Zogby International to look at a variety of attitudes, not only attitudes toward the United States.

Two things have happened over the past five years. One that we began detecting in , , after the collapse of the Camp David negotiations with Israel and the Palestinians was the decline in trust in the United States. Trust is different from the question, do you like our foreign policies? Do you have confidence in the government? What we have seen is a dramatic decline in the confidence measure, particularly after the collapse of the Palestinian-Israeli negotiations. Second, in the most recent survey, the United States is now seen as a primary threat.

In an open question that I asked — name the two countries that are the most threatening to you — the vast majority of people in every country named the United States and Israel as the two countries that are most threatening to them. Iran, you would think, would be seen as a threat, at least in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. However, those who identified it as a threat were is the single digits.

This tells you, again, that the Iraq War has become a new prism through which Arabs are looking at the United States and the Middle East. They have used all of these seeming trends — the rise of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, Hamas in the Palestinian areas, Hezbollah in Lebanon, and so forth — as examples of this rising tide that endorses a pan-Islamic agenda. The evidence is not there. On the contrary, al-Qaeda has not been able to win hearts and minds. Most people have not endorsed its agenda. In fact, when asked what aspect of al-Qaeda do you sympathize with most, only 6 percent say that they sympathize with their advocacy of a puritanical Islamic state.

Only 7 percent say that they sympathize with their methods. A plurality say that they like the fact that they are standing up to the United States. This is a negative, not a positive. If you look at these other Islamic groups and also at the positions of the public on social issues, you find that they are rejecting the agenda advocated by al-Qaeda, but they win by default because of the anger toward the United States. This activity invites you reflect what you learnt so far, by considering one of two questions.


It may help you to write down your thoughts; aim for about 1, words. This question encourages you to define modern terrorism as variously discussed in section 2. In thinking about the nature and form of modern terrorism, you need to draw on your work from sections 2 and 3. You need to also carefully consider the relationships between terrorism and asymmetrical and symmetrical forms of warfare as defined in section 3.

You need to draw some conclusion based upon your reading and reflection of the materials you have encountered. Answers to this question will draw on sections 3, 4 and 5 of the course. The media have become increasingly integral to the organisation of contemporary societies. Indeed, for the majority of Western populations, it is now television, newspapers, radio and the internet that provide the primary sources of information regarding political events. While the media often appear to provide a clear and impartial analysis, it is first important to recognise that media production is rarely a politically neutral process.

This is not to say that the events portrayed in, say, news and current affairs are simply works of fiction invented by journalists, but rather to suggest that what is often authoritatively presented as real, factual and objective is actually constructed through a process of selection. This process, when examined, can often reveal how embedded social and political values and organisational processes can work to produce different 'realities' of any given situation.

You should bear this selectivity in mind as you tackle the readings chosen for this section's study. The attack on the World Trade Centre on 11 September provided a set of powerful and dramatic images that, as a result of modern telecommunications, were able to be rapidly transmitted around the globe — images that in the immediate aftermath were exhaustively repeated, analysed and pored over by horrified and fascinated media audiences. Indeed it was perhaps the striking and shocking visual spectacle of the attack that made it so amenable to constant replay and expert analysis.

In an extract from Mass-Mediated Terrorism: The second part of the extract is concerned with the ways in which the manipulation of the media has now become central to operations of contemporary terrorism. Now read the extract. As you read, try and answer the following questions, taking notes as you go:. Click to view Mass-mediated terrorism: The central role of the media in terrorism and counter-terrorism.

One argument suggested by Nacos, that political groups now fully understand the power of the media for disseminating and amplifying the impacts of their actions, has also been taken up by Retort You will have already touched on their arguments regarding the war on terror and the oil lobby in section 4. This is controversial in so far as we may never know the precise motivations of the hijackers, or how they could guarantee in advance that the media would be on hand to witness the event directly.

Yet Retort are surely correct in their assertion that the attacks helped underline how the media have now become a crucial vehicle for the public dissemination of terrorist causes and actions. Retort further argue that both terrorists and governments are now involved in what they term an 'image-war' — a battle to control public opinion through manipulating the daily flow of media events, images and discourses.

The next reading deals with this issue. Kellner provides an overview account of the activities of US and other media and George Bush's Government, in the early days of the Iraq War. Read the extract , taking notes as you go. Then attempt to answer the following questions:. Such attempts to create positive spectacles underlines the importance attached by the US to ensuring, not just a military victory, but what Retort would refer to as an image victory.

You should observe that while Kellner's argument is highly polemical and might well be criticised for its emotiveness and its own selective use of material and argument it also provides elements of a convincing critique of the role of the media in routinely promoting US governmental and military interests, as well as engineering specific 'spectacles' that function largely as propaganda.

A further criticism of Kellner's account might be that it underestimates the possibility of embedded reporters providing more objective and critical accounts of US and other allied forces government and military operations. It may also be the case that he somewhat idealises the degree to which independent and 'accurate' p.

We now turn to two readings on embedded reporting that illustrate some of the complexities and ambiguities of this role.

In This Article

Media Coverage of the Iraq War , considers research undertaken by a team led by Lewis at Cardiff University that examined the role of embedded reporters operating in British and US military units in Iraq. Click to view Shoot first and ask questions later: Media coverage of the Iraq War.

We might argue that the strengths of embedded reporting lie in its ability to convey detailed and direct accounts of events as they happen and unfold. Embedded reporters are not only closer to military action but have daily interactions with commanders, soldiers and 'media ops. Thus, if they are able to maintain their objectivity, embedded journalists are able to provide a much more accurate and close-quarters version of war events than their unilateral counterparts.

The main weakness of the embedded model is that it leaves journalists open to accusations of being in the control of the military. Romilly Weeks's and Juliet Bremner's accounts in the Lewis reading reveal how the military have tried to directly censor 'blue-pencil' or control journalists' reporting. Furthermore, the military may try and influence the news agenda by providing certain 'positive' stories which are fed to journalists in an attempt to present military activity in a favourable light.

Censorship can also occur more indirectly through the ways in which journalists' movements may be restricted by military command — reporters such as Mark Austin commented on the routine use of 'safety' and 'operational security' as explanations for preventing access to sensitive areas. A second major weakness of embedding is it raises the fear that journalists will lose their objectivity and 'go native' as Smith describes , coming to over-identify with their military protectors, so losing sight of their apparently neutral and objective status. When journalists' find themselves protected from injury or death by the military, or — as in the case of Clive Myrie — contributing first-hand to a military skirmish, they may find it difficult to maintain the detached objectivity that their work requires.

Contrary to Kellner's claims that embedded reporters are strongly censored and controlled by their military hosts, both Smith and Lewis reveal how the job of mediating war is a complex process where embedded journalists must balance the necessity of working 'on the inside' while retaining their professional commitment to producing impartial and objective reporting. The accounts of reporters interviewed by Lewis's team reveal the difficult tension of maintaining journalistic impartiality and integrity amidst the very real necessity of relying on military hosts for personal protection and safety.

While censorship both direct and indirect and pro-military reporting are not uncommon as both Kellner and Lewis describe , the Lewis reading also reveals that embedded journalists often fight hard to protect their independent credentials and strive to provide factual rather than partial reporting.

A further contrast between Kellner and Lewis is that the former argues that only unilateral reporters can provide objective, untainted reports — yet Lewis reveals that unilaterals are often undermined by their physical distance their dis embeddedness we might say from military operations and their subsequent lack of insight into the day-to-day operations of the war zone. They too are also 'fed' positive stories designed to promote the military in a favourable light — and unlike the embeds may not be in a good position to see through this.

Overall, we might conclude, then, that while as Kellner suggests many journalists can be said to somewhat cosily 'embedded' with the military, it is perhaps too simplistic to argue that embedded journalists lack the potential to provide impartial, objective or even critical reports — or to suggest that unilaterals always provide the most accurate and objective coverage.

The media is now seen as a vital tool for both terrorists and governments, offering a means to disseminate and communicate causes, values and beliefs, providing a channel for provoking and assuaging fear, creating moral legitimacy and swaying public opinion. While the Western media tend to create spectacles and reports that promote only US and allied interests, we should note that the media spectacle is always somewhat unstable and inconsistent — and that independent and critical media images and discourses can disrupt the dominant message, providing a crucial corrective to more conventional and established pro-war arguments.

Indeed, the idea that the media are a diverse constituency, containing a plurality of critical perspectives, dissenting voices — and, indeed, discerning audiences — is something that we will examine in the forthcoming sections. Both approaches have generated a large body of research in political communication, yet each understands these interactions very differently. By analysing the political economy of mass media, they show how ownership and commercial demands lead to the privileging of a dominant ideology and its social hierarchy.

For Herman and Chomsky, this bias is structural: They also suggest that professional journalistic practices such as over-reliance on official sources and fear of lawsuits from powerful interests contribute to the manufacture of consent. For these reasons, the mass media become little more than propaganda instruments for a dominant elite. Herman and Chomsky go on to use this framework to explain why the US news media bolstered the legitimacy of US military interventions in Latin America and Indochina.

In light of the failure of US journalists to uncover the lack of WMD in Iraq in , this approach seems to offer much. Click to view Manufacturing consent: The political economy of the mass media. You should consider the following questions while you read. Please note that some questions i. He describes how both liberal and conservative commentators subscribed to a myth that by showing the reality of the war, citizens-cum-audiences turned against the US military involvement in Vietnam.

In fact, media coverage of US action in Vietnam only became critical once the US political elite became divided. Media simply reflected these divisions. Once elites became divided, journalists reported these divides, such that opposition to the war became a legitimate position. Click to view The uncensored war. Again, note that some questions cannot be answered directly from the extract, but instead ask you to come up with your own answer based on your knowledge, experience and judgement.

Is Huntington correct to suggest that media undermine public attitudes towards democratic institutions p , and do media ever play the role of opposition? Why might this be so? Has the myth that the US media caused its government and military to lose the war in Vietnam affected how media have covered subsequent wars, for instance in Latin America in the s or Iraq in or ?

How would we know? Gilligan stated that Blair used claims from a dossier he knew were inaccurate to justify a war in Iraq. The central, disputed claim was that Saddam Hussein could launch missiles against British targets within 45 minutes. This began a battle between the BBC and Blair government in which the Director General of the BBC lost his job; a scientist advising the government, David Kelly, took his own life; and a major enquiry into the build-up to war was conducted the Hutton Enquiry.

The case is interesting because the BBC is funded by the British state or its taxpayers , yet must demonstrate its independence. It did so here by playing an oppositional role to the Prime Minister himself. In his book What the Media are doing to our Politics , John Lloyd, a Financial Times journalist, gives an account of the news broadcast, and argues the BBC was guilty of poor journalism. Click to view What the media are doing to our politics. When you have finished reading, take a look at the discussion. Hersh has spent several decades as an investigative reporter and presently works for The New Yorker.

He has received most acclaim for his reports on the Mai Lai massacre during the Vietnam War and the abuse of prisoners in Abu Ghraib in Iraq in This makes for an easy, cheap story, and these sources are usually reliable. However, such a close relationship between government and journalists can sometimes lead to problems. This article was published a fortnight into the war. Different ways of researching media audiences will also be introduced, including surveys, critical readings, focus group studies, and ethnographic interviews.

Two particular changes in the media landscape since the s have had a major impact on media audiences — each in a different way inviting perhaps even forcing us into more active roles, shifting our relationship with the media from that of viewer to that of user. The first change is the growth and diversification of the media.

This is perhaps most obvious in the broadcast media with the explosion of the number of channels available to viewers, as a result of media deregulation and the development of satellite, digital and cable technologies. Some UK viewers currently still rely on analogue broadcast services, where choice remains limited to five television channels; but for increasing numbers a choice of viewing can be made between channels or more.

Al-Jazeera was launched in Arabic in and in English in Thus we are presented with an increasing range of choice not just of channels, but of perspectives. The second change in the media landscape is the growth of the internet, which greatly increases access to a wide range of information sources and hence potentially to diverse perspectives. It also presents possibilities for interaction at a distance. He also introduces the idea of the media as a public sphere — a 'space' or 'spaces' for discussion of issues of shared concern. Discussions of media use raise questions about media effects.

Ways of understanding how the media influence people have changed over the years. Thus, in support of the critical position, Kull et al. But al-Ghabban presents evidence that exposure even to biased media sources can stimulate critical debate and perhaps political action. This supports the central argument of the liberal position: It also addresses a key contention of the critical position; news sources are likely to be biased and should be treated with scepticism.

Please note that, although you may find it interesting to do so, we do not expect you to read each of these sources in full. In this part, we look at how people perceive the war on terror and where they get their information or misinformation from. They then perform an overall analysis to find out which were the most important factors in shaping support for the war.

The study raises some serious concerns about the relationship between the political executive, the media, and the public — at least in the US context. It is quite long and technical, so we advise that you read it in the sections outlined below which will reduce the reading , and note your answers to the questions as you progress. When you have finished, reveal the discussion and check your answers against those provided.

What hypothesis did the researchers come up with to explain this puzzle, and how did they seek to test it? How widely shared were the three misperceptions identified amongst the American population, and how closely were misperceptions related to support for the war in Iraq? How important was variation in primary source of news in shaping the level of misperception, and can the level of misperceptions be explained in terms of audience characteristics rather than source of news? What relationship did the researchers find between level of attention to news and level of misperceptions?

Note on technical terms: This is a statistical method used to identify the most important factors in shaping a distribution in this case, responses to a questionnaire. Repeated analyses are undertaken in which the least significant factor is eliminated after each analysis, until eventually only one factor remains. This enables the relative importance of different factors to be determined. Why did so many Americans continue to have misperceptions concerning WMD, pre-war Iraqi links with al-Quaeda and world opinion, even after no evidence emerged to support the first two and contrary evidence concerning the third became available in the public domain?

What concerns for the democratic process do the authors express, and how justified do you think these concerns are? The latter is a concern for democratic process to the extent that democracy depends on public access to accurate information, and on the media to act as an effective check on governments and other interested groups.

How justified their concerns are is a matter of opinion. But in part your opinion may depend on your understanding of priorities within a democracy. You might then not be too worried about this evidence of persistent misperception. After all, levels of misperception dropped during the survey period, and clearly there were many dissenting views freely circulating in the American public sphere. On the other hand, if you take the view that public deliberation — opportunities for free and open public debate — are at the heart of democracy, you might be considerably more concerned.

The latter view is called a deliberative understanding of democracy, which places public argument at its centre. Deliberative understandings of democracy Elster , Dryzek stress the importance of public argument for democracy. This relies both on public access to accurate information ensured in part by the media's willingness and capacity to question the authorities and other vested interests , and on public access to a variety of shared spaces in which a range of different voices can be heard, listen to each other, and debate matters of shared concern.

We now turn our attention from US to British interpretations of media sources. Dr Elizabeth Poole has studied representations of Islam and Muslims in British newspapers over the last 20 years — , and also how different groups within the British public interpret these changing representations. Developments in Media and Conflict Studies , Simon Cottle reflects on the use made by Western news networks of material from al-Jazeera.

Al-Jazeera was founded in , initially as an Arabic language news service and satellite broadcaster. An English language service based in London has been available since November Figure 1, which is contained within the PDF downloadable below, maps these features of the contemporary media landscape alongside internet developments, presenting these environments as providing a range of public spheres or 'spherecules' mini public spheres within which public debate takes place.

Nonetheless, because they tend to be densely networked together, collectively these spherecules can involve large numbers of people. Now read the extract from Cottle and answer the following questions. Click to view Mediatized conflict: Developments in media and conflict studies. Of course how useful you think that the term is depends on your standpoint: The BBC and CNN are much less dependent on funding from a particular unelected, not fully commercially accountable source i. On the other hand, the BBC has close links to the British political system and claims to editorial independence might be viewed sceptically from abroad , while research has also pointed to the close links between political elites and the media in the US recall Herman and Chomsky from Section 7.

Furthermore, the term highlights relationships between media products, media producers, and their funders and audiences, in a way that makes simple notions of objectivity problematic. In response, it makes an argument that even if it is inevitable that all journalism has some kind of cultural, political or value orientation, there remain criteria by which some may be judged better than others; i. Thus, this may be considered a useful term for those concerned with evaluating standards of journalism in an increasingly polycentric world.

The next activity examines another kind of contra-flow — the development of an independent English language Muslim media, especially newspapers and magazines, in the UK. In this transcript from an audio interview, Dr Sameera Ahmed sketches developments in the British Muslim press from Read the transcript below, and note your answers to the questions.

Harnessing a Culture of fear? In this context, the optimal strategy becomes one of minimising risk. As well as mapping shifts in political discourse, the article also examines how increased concern with risk avoidance impacts on how we as individuals live our lives. Please read the sections of the article outlined below now, and note your answers to the questions as you progress.

Abstract p and p—5 'Risk, Security and the New Terrorism' to ' What is meant by the phrase to 'think security'? Why, aside from any actual increase in threats, might an emphasis on security appeal to a government? Why do the authors think they have been leaked, and what effects on public perceptions of risk has this had? In the following transcript from an audio interview, Miah assesses the impact of these policies on young Muslim people. How has government policy on community development changed since , and what problems have these changes produced?

Miah identifies several problems for Muslims with this switch of emphasis. First, a fear of new police powers in a range of areas being misused. These include fear of being accused of terrorist activity if radical internet sites are accessed out of curiosity or for research purposes; extended stop and search powers; and detention without charge for extended periods. Secondly, those wearing visible Muslim symbols such as the hijab or a long beard fear possible abuse from members of the public. Finally, Miah identifies a lack of government engagement with Muslim grievances about aspects of foreign policy, especially in Iraq.

Our final article this section is again UK based, but focuses on a specific place and time: Tower Hamlets between September and December Al-Ghabban examines the experiences of young adults of white, Bengali and mixed race backgrounds who watch and use a variety of television, internet and mobile-phone mediated news sources.

We change methods too, from inferences based on the critical reading of texts, to the conversations about media use that is characteristic of media ethnography. As you approach this article, a good reading strategy will be to try to answer one of the questions raised by Mythen and Walklate: How did Bengali Muslims and non-religious white interviewees perceptions of the risk of terrorist attack differ? What conclusions does al-Ghabban draw concerning the effects of exposure to transnational media sources or contra-flows, to use Cottle's term? What do you see as the strengths and weaknesses of ethnographic interviewing as a method of researching media effects?

Ammar al-Ghabban is a secondary school teacher with more than a decade's experience working in Tower Hamlets, East London, an area with a large Bengali Muslim population. In Ammar was interviewed about his reflections on that research; the result is the following audio. Please read the transcript of an interview with al-Ghabban and note your answers to the questions below. The main immediate effect of the attacks in the US in Britain was, of course, to provoke feelings of great shock and sympathy for the victims of the tragedy. As well as being an issue of major significance to the inhabitants of the United Kingdom as a whole, the position of British Muslims and the range of attitudes they display are questions of great complexity.

Moreover, there is very little firm evidence regarding these attitudes. This section, we present some of the major approaches that have been taken to understanding this issue and examples of the limited evidence that is available. In this area there are some big questions that have yet to receive any clear answer. What are the perceptions and judgements of the overwhelming majority of the British Muslim population who have no connection with the criminals nor any association with their activities?

Are acts of terrorism best understood in terms of individual psychology or motivations derived from some socio-cultural context? Should we see Muslim extremists as isolated individuals defined in terms of some singular pathology, or as actors situated in a particular cultural context? There are no accepted answers to any of these questions, and the best that the readings presented here can do is to present a range of perspectives from the most informed sources and provide the best evidence that is currently available.

It comes from the introduction to Islamic Political Radicalism: He surveys the developments in Britain since the Rushdie affair that have brought the Muslim community into prominence and impacted negatively on its position in British society. The collapse of the Soviet Empire in and troubles in far off Muslim lands firmly placed Islam and Muslims in the immediate sphere of media and political attention.

Gender issues are also important to explore, as it is often men who are most likely to be embroiled. Young Muslim women have been shown to better engage with the theological, political and social pressures placed on their identities as being both British-born and a Muslim. Certainly, it is reasonably well confirmed that Muslim women outperform their male counterparts in higher education, and where possible are better able to negotiate issues of ethnicity, identity and high-profile religious minority status. What recent events have invariably revealed is a worrying lack of knowledge of Islam not just within majority society but also within Muslim communities.

What ceases to enter the imagination is that often Islamic political radicalism is about the tensions of trying to be European, British Asian, Pakistani or Kashmiri as much as it is about being Muslim. One prominent view of the problems of multiculturalism focuses on the concentration of jihadi activists in certain parts of contemporary Britain. She expresses a view widely held in many sectors of British society that parts of the country have, over the past few decades, become dominated by immigrant groups and in some cases dramatically Islamised. The language used by Phillips conveys this sense of threat in several ways.

There young Londoners British Bengali Muslims and non-religious white English school students were conscious of a British government determination to promote the notion of a terrorist threat and a media determination both to demonise Muslims and emphasise the violent implications of the Muslim faith and its prescriptions. Click to view Londonistan. In a piece specially commissioned for this course, Dilwar Hussein Research Director of a Muslim College of Higher Education in Leicester focuses on the Muslim community in contemporary Britain and the way it has been affected by recent developments.

What is more lacking is any firm grasp of the roots of terrorism in this context and, in particular, how the London bombers came to take the course of action they did in as well as others who seem to have been equally prepared to embark on such activities. Dilwar Hussein refers to the inclinations and tendencies of those who committed the acts and then discusses the five factors that contributed to the context of radicalisation. But it is not possible to know precisely what motivated the four London bombers.