Russian aggression or Swedish media strategy?

University essay from Lunds universitet/Statsvetenskapliga institutionen

Abstract: Although the Cold War was thought to be a part of history, Russia has in recent years increased their military capacity and activity which is interpreted by the West as a threat which needs to be addressed. This study aims to present how Sweden has changed its view regarding Russia with time and also to explain why this change has occurred. Although Russia may be constituting a larger threat now than ever since the end of the Cold War, this study uses indicia argumentation a long with theories such as framing, Mearsheimer’s theories about lying in international politics and prospect theory to argue that Sweden is implementing a media strategy in order to prepare themselves for an unpredictable future, where threats are exaggerated in order to gain advocacy for one’s policies. By comparing and analyzing material collected from the years 2005-2015, I will conclude that this change is clearly visible over the years with, for instance, increased reporting in the media regarding military activity close to Swedish borders and changed frame in the declarations of foreign policy. Russia may constitute a threat, but the Swedish state is also using this insecurity to change the domestic opinion for its policies.

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