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Innes, Michael A. (2005) 'Reading Guerrilla Radio in Wartime Liberia.' Small Wars & Insurgencies, 16 (2). pp. 241-251.

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Abstract

Numerous writers have acknowledged the importance of radio communications and hate propaganda in the Liberian civil war (1990–1997), but none have explored the subject in depth. A wide variety of related issues have been neglected, including military efforts to seize control of broadcast facilities, the deliberate manipulation of public information and perceptions, and the implications of both for wartime atrocities and post-war justice. In the following essay, I identify and discuss six general strands of thought on guerrilla radio broadcasting and communications in wartime Liberia. The first looks to the relationship between mass media and the state in the pre-civil war era. The second covers the cooption of the wartime free press. Three further themes – Charles Taylor's cultivation of personal power, the relevance of broadcasting for rebel command and control capabilities, and Taylor's media dominance during the 1997 Presidential campaign – demonstrate the strategic and public roles of radio communications and broadcasting. Finally, I look to written survivor memoirs for elite responses to wartime media monopolies, guerrilla propaganda, and psychological warfare. I conclude with some notes on indicators for future research, and their implications for historical and contemporary issues in Liberia.

Item Type: Journal Article
SOAS Departments & Centres: Departments and Subunits > Department of Politics & International Studies
Subjects: D History General and Old World > DT Africa
J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
J Political Science > JZ International relations
ISSN: 09592318
DOI (Digital Object Identifier): https://doi.org/10.1080/09592310500130818
Date Deposited: 15 Nov 2019 08:53
URI: https://eprints.soas.ac.uk/id/eprint/31901

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