Meanings of War and Peace

978-1-58544-124-2 Paperback
6.125 x 9.25. 232 pp. Illus., 9 tables.
Pub Date: 06/01/2001
Available

When the stakes of public words and actions are global and permanent, and especially when they involve war and peace, can we afford not to seek their meaning? For three decades, Francis Beer has pioneered the effort to discover, describe, and connect pieces of the complex puzzle of war, peace, their interrelationship, and their causes.

In this volume, Beer (joined by colleagues as co-authors of some chapters) examines the cognitive, behavioral, and linguistic dimensions of war and peace. Language, he shows, is important because it mediates between thought and action. It expresses beliefs about war and peace and affects the perceptions of potential adversaries about one's own intentions. Using multiple perspectives and methods, he explores the uses of communication in international relations and the development of "meaning" for war and peace.

In this unique and innovative post-realist analysis, Beer examines how language transmits and creates meaning through interaction with specific audiences. His case studies include the Somalian intervention, Sarajevo and the Balkan conflict, and the Gulf War. Moving beyond the discrete words of war, the book takes a broader view of how political participants interact in war and peace through continuous streams of communication that reflect and construct worlds of meaning. This stimulating and challenging volume brings together insights and evidence from political science, cognitive psychology, linguistics, history, and rhetorical studies and applies them in a focused way to the problem of war and peace.

Presidential Rhetoric and Political Communication

Published by Texas A&M University Press