| Hellenic Foundation for European & Foreign Policy

New Book: US Foreign Policy in the European Media: Framing the Rise and Fall of Neoconservatism

After 9/11, neoconservatism was widely regarded as the dominant political ideology informing US foreign policy – particularly by the press. Dr George N. Tzogopoulos here argues that the impact of neoconservatism can be disputed, examining other factors which influenced US foreign policy and the role of other politicians outside the neoconservatism movement. He demonstrates that prior to the events of 9/11, the key opinion-forming newspapers in Europe differed in their representations of neoconservatism. But, after 9/11, the European press rapidly adopted very similar approaches, constructing neoconservatism as the driving force behind Bush’s international politics approach and the war on Iraq. The author asks why it is that media coverage in Europe focused on neoconservatism in particular over other IR theories, and the different factors – such as the scapegoat theory – which influenced journalistic work. You can find more information on this book here.


‘George Tzogopoulos turns his forensic attention to debunking media myths about a sinister cabal of neocons hijacking the Bush administration prior to the 2003 Iraq war. His study powerfully illustrates how journalists contribute to misunderstandings by using strategic game framing — in essence, sexing up a story — instead of thematic issue framing; a more complex, explanatory approach. Tzogopoulos also assesses the many and varied uses of the term “neoconservative” long before it was applied to US foreign policy, thereby giving us a useful frame of reference for analysing future neoconservative trends.’

Armen Georgian, diplomatic editor, France 24

‘George Tzogopoulos’ book provides an original and thought-provoking approach to U.S. neo-conservatism and to European public opinion: By analysing how newspapers like “Le Monde”, “Frankfurter Allgemeine” or “The Guardian” framed the “neo-cons”, the author reveals the strategies of scape-goating used by European opinion-making elites. These leading journals made the conventional wisdom, which sees the “neo-cons” behind the foreign policy of the Bush administration, acceptable for a wide European public. Tzogopoulos challenges the widely shared view of Bush’s foreign policy as being revolutionary new, by putting it in the context of International Relations theories. This extremely rich and carefully researched study shows us how press coverage can lead to a misunderstanding of American foreign policy. At the same time, it provides a new insight into the rise of a European public sphere.’

Dr Matthias Waechter, Director of the European Institute


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