Mass Media and World Politics

IWP 619
Four credits

This course examines both the constructive and destructive roles of the media in international affairs. It is designed to introduce the student to the frequently underappreciated power of the press in the conduct of statecraft.

It studies the following topics:

  • A free press as a check on government policies.

  • The importance of foreign media reporting as a complement to intelligence for deterrence of foreign aggression.

  • Media bias and its role in defining foreign policy priorities and affecting decisions on using U.S. military force abroad.

  • The effects of state censorship and information/communications monopoly on the foreign and domestic policies of authoritarian states.

  • Truth versus falsehood as instruments of statecraft – in perceptions management and formation of belief systems.

  • The role of international broadcasting in the collapse of the Soviet empire.

  • Contemporary case studies of states resisting a free flow of information.

  • The challenges of building a free press in the new post-communist states.

  • Challenges to free journalism around the world.

Semester Available


Spring Semester

Principal Professor


   Lee Edwards
Distinguished Fellow, The Heritage Foundation; Chairman, Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation {read more}