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Matar, Dina (2022) 'The PLO’s political communication arena; struggle over media legitimacy and domination.' British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies. (Forthcoming)

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Abstract

The Palestine Liberation Organization has been extensively studied and researched in a variety of disciplines and perspectives. However, little attention has been paid to its media and/or political communication strategies that went hand in hand with its political evolution and aims from 1969 to 1982, a period marked by flux and political uncertainty as well intensive PLO state-building processes. This paper seeks to partially fill the gap by addressing political communication not only as a fundamental political practice and strategy but also as an arena in which political elites compete to achieve media legitimacy and ensure support for their objectives and ideologies. Drawing on archival research of the PLO mass media platforms during the period under review, primary sources and interviews with former PLO media personnel, the paper begins with an overview of the PLO’s investment in mass media institutions and other cultural genres before discussing its political communication strategy and its aims in the period from 1969 to 1982. The paper then addresses how the late PLO chairman Yasser Arafat actively competed in the political communication arena to achieve media legitimacy and secure public consent for the PLO’s ideologies and aims. In doing so, the paper does not suggest Arafat achieved total domination of the political communication space nor that other guerrilla leaders, Arab and other actors did not compete in this arena. Rather, the approach emphasizes the relationship between political agency and structure during moments of flux and change, thus complementing dominant approaches in political communication research that focus on framing and discourse.

Item Type: Journal Article
Keywords: PLO, political communication, ideology, media legitimacy
SOAS Departments & Centres: Departments and Subunits > School of Law
Departments and Subunits > Interdisciplinary Studies > Centre for Global Media and Communications
ISSN: 13530194
DOI (Digital Object Identifier): https://doi.org/10.1080/13530194.2022.2087598
Date Deposited: 10 Jun 2022 13:31
URI: https://eprints.soas.ac.uk/id/eprint/37393

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