Political Communication in the Age of Dissemination: Media Constructions of Hezbollah

  • Taroub Khayyat

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisPhD


This thesis addresses the concept and forms of dissemination in political communication and news media. It investigates the new age of dissemination of global communication manifested in a new relationship between political communication and media systems.The broad aim of this project is to investigate the ‘media reality’ of political communication in this new age of dissemination. Working within the sphere of political communication and interconnected media systems, the thesis examines how the information in news source texts and responses to them is recontextualised and disseminated worldwide, and fed back again through recursive communication. Specifically, the thesis also considers ways in which the aims of the political phenomenon of Hezbollah are disseminated and connected across various news media outlets. In particular, the process of recursive dissemination of communication is analysed in three news media outlets, namely Al-Jazeera, the BBC, and CNN.The project has three principal conceptual building blocks: dissemination, political communication, and discourse and intertexts. The theoretical framework has determined the methods used to undertake a qualitative analysis of the data. Discourse analysis is used to consider intertexts and sub-texts, legitimation processes, framing, representation, and schematisation in the data. These dimensions are highly useful tools in identifying shifts across the three media organisations. This thesis has three specific objectives. Its first aim is to reconceptualise communication, establish a communicative model characterised by recursivity (one in which political communication and media systems play back on each other in feedback and feed-forward loops, which add intensity), and show how recursivity has gained in importance in the context of mass mediatisation, bringing about a new age of dissemination. That is, the political messages of Hassan Nasrallah, which polarise representations, are recontextualised and disseminated across media contexts in complex processes involving recursive media interplays. These processes have a direct link with the historical context in the sense that political communication and media systems play back on each other in feedback and feed-forward loops. The second aim is to investigate the appropriate approaches for the study of that communication in terms of the relationship between intertextuality, discourse, ideology as belief systems, framings, and competing framings which create new realities; this connects well with the conceptual framework of recursivity and dissemination. The third aim is to achieve in the data analysis a more sophisticated understanding of Hezbollah as a highly significant political actor, by creating a multicontextual analysis of recursive framing.The thesis demonstrates the complexity of recursivity and dissemination of political communication. It sets out to improve our understanding both of Hezbollah and of the politics the Middle East. The core of this thesis lies in its concern in reconceptualising political communication and applying it to the analysis of Nasrallah’s speeches and their recontextualisation in the above three global media organisations.
Date of Award26 Jan 2014
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Bath
SupervisorColin Grant (Supervisor) & Brian Neve (Supervisor)


  • political communication
  • dissemination
  • intertexuality and discourse

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