Cover image for Global television and the shaping of world politics : CNN, telediplomacy, and foreign policy
Global television and the shaping of world politics : CNN, telediplomacy, and foreign policy
Ammon, Royce J., 1954-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Jefferson, N.C. : McFarland, [2001]

Physical Description:
ix, 197 pages ; 23 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
JZ1305 .A478 2001 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



In 1995, United Nations Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali said of the Cable News Network, "CNN is the sixteenth member of the [15 member United Nations] Security Council." Scholars as well as diplomats have recognized the existence of a link between communications and diplomacy, but up until now the implications of this relationship have been left unexplored. This work examines the historic interconnectedness between communications and diplomacy, how communications have historically determined the practice of diplomacy, and how global television in particular can determine diplomatic outcomes under certain conditions. This work also examines the ways in which today's broadcasting will shape foreign policy processes in the future and the future impact of global television in world politics.

Author Notes

Royce J. Ammon teaches at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Reviews 2

Library Journal Review

Television coverage of the recent terrorist attacks in the United States and the resulting military actions make this book on the role of global television in shaping world politics very timely. In this revision of his dissertation, Ammon (Univ. of St. Thomas) traces the relationship between diplomacy and communications technology, arguing that changes in communications have historically determined diplomatic practices and their outcomes. Ammon analyzes the CNN coverage of the Persian Gulf War in 1991 to offer one example of the way television influences foreign policy, arguing that Western powers offered humanitarian aid to Iraqi Kurds at the end of the war because their plight was televised. The rebellious Shi'ite Muslims, on the other hand, were forced to flee into the marshlands of southern Iraq, receiving no television coverage and consequently no Western aid. Ammon balances his account by detailing conditions that can weaken the impact of television, which he uses to explain the lack of response to the genocide in Rwanda. This important study will be of special interest to media and international relations scholars. Judy Solberg, George Washington Univ. Lib., Washington, DC (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Choice Review

Ammon demonstrates that major changes in diplomatic practice over the past 200 years can be directly attributed to changes in communications technology. Traditional diplomacy relied on secrecy and leisure; the 20th century first introduced the telegraph and the telephone, the speed of which helped precipitate WW I. Wilsonian "open" diplomacy, which lasted until the 1980s, has been followed by "telediplomacy," characterized by real-time TV-mediated images. On occasion, television has provided the chief source of information that has led to far-reaching foreign policy decisions. A number of case studies show the influence of TV on agenda setting, an old theme in media studies, and also on the effect that television can have in the absence of decisive political leadership. It is an exaggeration to say that there is no reason for nations to act if a crisis is not on TV, for old-fashioned interests of state have not disappeared, but it is also true that only crises that make for good TV are likely to command the attention of the public. Despite traces of its origins as a PhD thesis, this is a thorough treatment of a highly focused topic. Recommended for upper-division undergraduates and above. B. Cooper University of Calgary

Table of Contents

Acknowledgmentsp. vii
Prefacep. 1
1. Communication and Diplomacy: An Historic Relationship
1. The Communication-Diplomacy Linkp. 5
2. Paradigms, Communication, and Diplomacyp. 12
3. Diplomacy and Communication: The Results of Linkagep. 48
2. Communications and Diplomacy: Present Realities
4. The Persian Gulf War and Telediplomacy: The Next Diplomatic Paradigmp. 65
5. Global Television's Ability to Drive Policyp. 88
6. Global Television and Diplomatic Outcomesp. 96
7. Global Television's Mechanisms for Driving Policyp. 130
3. Communications and Diplomacy: Future Potential
8. Today's Communications, Tomorrow's Diplomacyp. 151
Notesp. 155
Bibliographyp. 156
Indexp. 189