The Soft Power of War
This book, which was originally published as a Special Issue of Journal of Language & Politics 4:1 (2005), takes the war in Iraq as an exemplary case through which to demonstrate the changing nature of contemporary power. The book convincingly argues that the effective study of international politics depends today upon our understanding of the interplay between hard (military, economic) and soft (symbolic) power. One might say, between the politics of territory, guns or money and the language of narrating the world in coherent and persuasive stories. Bringing together different strands of discourse analysis with social, historical and, to an extent, political analysis, all contributions seek to illustrate the ways in which a variety of public genres, from political speeches to computer games and from educational material to newspaper reports, produce influential knowledge about the war and shape the ethical and political premises upon which the legitimacy of this war and a ‘vision’ of the emergent world order rests.