The War and Media Network review The Propaganda of Peace

The Propaganda of Peace: The Role of Media and Culture in the Northern Ireland Peace Process by Greg McLaughlin and Stephen Baker has been reviewed by Sue Curry Jansen for The War and Media Network.

'Most propaganda studies focus on the drumbeats of war, the tactics and strategies that ignite the furies of hate and aggression; however, bringing war to a successful conclusion also requires ideological readjustments and management of public perceptions. It is not enough for the victors to write the history of a conflict. To claim the spoils of war and secure the future, they also must cultivate public acceptance of their interpretive frameworks. That is, they need to deploy what McLaughlin and Baker call the ‘propaganda of peace’ in order to effectively craft a new social reality and idealized vision of the future that reconciles, marginalizes or suppresses animosities and revises or erases historical memories.

McLaughlin and Baker’s well-documented, tightly reasoned and carefully crafted book examines the propaganda of peace that was mobilized in Northern Ireland during the period leading up to the ratification of the 1998 Good Friday Agreement and which still sustains the peace process. Unlike the propaganda of war, which is usually organized by the state, the military and paramilitary organizations, McLaughlin and Baker argue that the propaganda of peace involves a much broader range of social forces and cultural forms dedicated to uniting society, culture and nation behind a core idea or shared principle.'

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