International Media’s Role on US-Small State Relations: The Case of Nepal

Journal article

Miklian, Jason (2008) International Media’s Role on US-Small State Relations: The Case of Nepal, Foreign Policy Analysis 4 (4): 399–418.

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U.S. foreign policy relationships toward states with which it assumes limited geostrategic significance are often simplistic in design and misguided in their calculations because of the disproportionate weight given to the limited information from which policy is synthesized. International media outlets exacerbate this problem by underreporting, improperly framing stories, combining distinct events, piggybacking upon their domestic counterparts, encouraging simplifications, and misrepresenting reality on the ground. Recent U.S.-Nepal policy is a prototypical example, as a complex civil war with multiple actors was reduced in the eyes of U.S. policy makers to a simplistic terrorist uprising and treated as such until additional media attention propagated a substantial re-examination of policy. Although this case is more explanatory than predictive, this basic framework may enlighten a more nuanced overall understanding of U.S.-small state relations.

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