Framing and Counter-framing in World Politics

Framing and Counter-framing in World Politics

Project title
Framing and Counter-framing in World Politics
Russian foreign policyRT
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Image by Derick McKinney via Unsplash


“Poets are bound to the condition of achieving intellectual and aesthetic pleasure as well as certain emotional effects, and for that reason they cannot represent the stuff of reality unaltered, but are obliged to isolate fragment of it, dissolve obstructive connections, soften the whole and fill any gaps.”

—Sigmund Freud, The Psychology of Love, 1970

The challenge

The burgeoning literature in IR has pointed out the importance of global communication for enriching our understanding of global politics. However, practically, few works provide comprehensive analysis of meaning construction that goes beyond the notion of strategic persuasion.


My doctoral project addresses this limitation by opening up another analytical level of discourse, the tactical dimension. I advance our understanding of the mechanisms of meaning construction in world politics by mobilizing framing and counter-framing approach. Empirically, I analyze how RT (formerly, Russia Today) framed the Syrian Crisis in 2013 and the Annexation of Crimea in 2014. I focus on the dialogic nature of international communication and develop a multi-level frame analysis model, drawing on framing and the theory of intertextuality. The work employs textual, visual, and intertextual method of analysis to extract sub-frames and identify meta-frames of the discourse. By exposing the countering strategies and the internal dialogism of RT’s narratives the work theorizes on the origins and implications of Russia’s defensive foreign policy rhetoric.


Kuznetsova, E (2018) Framing and Counter-framing in World Politics: The Case Study of Russian International Broadcasting, RT. PhD thesis. City, University of London. June 2018.