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Headlines as Fake News: Discursive Deception in Serbia’s Daily Informer (2012–2018)

Abstract

Since the end of the wars of Yugoslav secession, and since Kosovo’s declaration of independence, the Balkans—Serbia included—have taken a back seat in academic research. Even though media freedoms have been severely stifled following the coming to power of Aleksandar Vučić in 2012, today’s Serbian media are still failing to become a topic for scholarly research. In this article, we scrutinize the daily Informer, the unofficial daily of Serbia’s strongman, president Vučić, via a discourse analysis of its headlines. As shall be shown, the Informer supports the reign of Aleksandar Vučić by framing him as a hero and martyr, fighting for the ‘people’, in a highly populist fashion, discursively painting the opposition in a highly negative light, as well as promoting warmongering and the idea that Serbia is surrounded by enemies. This is achieved via discursive deception, bases on assertive rhetoric, filled with exaggerations.

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Narratives of Nationalism and the Conflict in Eastern Ukraine: Myth, Religion and Language

Abstract

This paper offers a multidisciplinary approach to the study of the current armed conflict in Eastern Ukraine as a way of understanding the dispute and the failure of the warring parties to broker a lasting peace. It examines the ideological background to the conflict by considering the most significant historical myths that inform both sides, especially the myths surrounding the medieval state of Kievan Rus’, and the religious, political and linguistic elements of those myths that contribute to mutual misunderstanding and heightened tensions. What is demonstrated is that the myths of each side are structurally very similar: one set is the mirror image of the other (with corresponding labels interchanged). This symmetry helps to intensify and maintain inflamed confrontation, so that there is a pressing need to move beyond these myths, if a lasting peace is to be achieved.

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Orwell’s List

Abstract

Drawing on works of literature, especially ones written by Dostoyevsky and Böll, this essay discusses Orwell’s decision, at the height of the Cold War, to inform against suspected Leftist sympathisers.

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Russia and Europe Cultural Components of a Crisis

Abstract

Taking recent events in Ukraine as central, the article examines Russian identity as a reaction against its own construction of Western identity. In the process the piece argues that Russia and the West have fundamentally different ideas of law. In the West, power is constrained by law, but in Russia power is superior to it.

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