Security, media, legitimacy: multi-ethnic media publics and the Iraq War 2003

Gillespie, Marie (2006). Security, media, legitimacy: multi-ethnic media publics and the Iraq War 2003. International Relations, 20(4) pp. 467–486.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/0047117806069408

Abstract

The article examines how multi-ethnic publics negotiate questions of legitimacy. It explains the deep public scepticism surrounding the Iraq War (2003) and subsequent security policy, not just in terms of declining trust in the PM Tony Blair and in the news media, but as a corrosive “legitimacy deficit” with significant implications for the prospects of participatory democracy and multicultural citizenship. The arguments are grounded in a collaborative ethnography of news audiences across the UK, including multilingual and multi-ethnic audiences. Using a Weberian framework, the article analyses the patterning of interviewees’ responses to the justifications given for going to war, and it assesses the implications of the “legitimacy deficit” for notions of security and UK security policy.

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