European television representations of Islam as security threat: A comparative analysis
Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) funded project
Start Date: 1 September 2006
End Date: 31 October 2009
This three-year project offers the first cross-national study of televisual representations of Islam as security threat. It examines three countries (Britain, France and Russia) which share similarities in their postcolonial relations with Islamic states, resident Muslim populations, and concern with the 'war on terror', but also exhibit differences of media and political cultures, international alignments, and policy towards Muslim minorities.
Nature of the project
Following recent terrorist attacks, academic discussions of Islam and security issues throughout Europe and the USA have become polarised between revisionist critiques of multiculturalism and exposés of western duplicity.
Polemical stances in each targeted nation have tended to be adopted in response to the latest local outrage, linked in turn to an undifferentiated global Islamic threat or an equally indiscriminate western hegemony.
The project aims to address the limitations inherent in such approaches by developing a comparative perspective on the topic derived from the first, cross-national, interdisciplinary study of televisual representations of Islam as security threat.
- To differentiate French, British and Russian media representations of the Islamic dimension to the 'War on Terror';
- To examine the different ways in which security issues link with immigration and integration questions in three European countries;
- To analyse the varieties of relationships between the 'War on Terror' and the assertion of national identity in the countries under scrutiny;
- To assess the ideological systems of values, beliefs and attitudes underlying the framing of a key issue of domestic and foreign policy on three national television channels;
- To set out a theoretical and methodological synthesis combining recent developments in political theory of ideology with cultural studies approaches to media representations.
- Representing Islam. Comparative Perspectives. 5-6 September 2008
- European Television Representations of Islam as Security Threat: A Comparative Analysis (PDF, 45 KB)
Professor Stephen Hutchings, The University of Manchester
Phone: +44 (0) 161 275 8307
Professor Christopher Flood, University of Surrey
Phone: +44 (0) 1483 682850