Masters thesis

Neo-Orientalist Framing of the 2011 and 2013 Egyptian Uprisings: A Case Study of The New York Times and The Washington Post

Published: 8 Jan 2020

This thesis critically examines the US media framing of the Egyptian Uprisings in 2011 and 2013 to examine whether the coverage was relatively value-neutral or had a value-laden (Neo-Orientalist) perspective. The thesis aims to examine whether the Neo-Orientalist tendency among the Western societies to view religion as the key driving force behind political processesis manifest in the US media as well, or whether the two newspapers try to represent the abovementioned political and economic processes and grievances. To this end, the thesis looks at the articles published in The New York Times and The Washington Post during and after two major events: Mubarak‟s resignation in 2011 and Morsi‟s removal in 2013. A combination of quantitative (content analysis) and qualitative (critical discourse analysis) research demonstrates that news articles and editorials about the 2011 and 2013 uprisings include Neo-Orientalist frames. These articles consider liberal democracy as a universal normative model and contrast it with Islam, portrayed as a fundamentally different, homogeneous and antidemocratic phenomenon linked with instability and violence and singlehandedly influencing democratization process. Compared to 2011, Neo-Orientalist frames become more frequent in 2013; if in 2011, most units adhere to Fukuyama‟s view that Egypt would join the teleological march to liberal democracy, in 2013, the trend reverses and most units, like Huntington, exclude any possibility of democratization. The textual practices of naming, sourcing, presupposition, fore- and backgrounding, used to construct Neo-Orientalist frames, can be related to discursive practices, or the production of text, and larger social practices. As critical discourse analysis shows, the units show pro-Israeli bias and align with the US foreign policy priorities: both the general policy of liberal democracy promotion and the specific strategic interests in Egypt.

  • Published year: 2014
  • Publisher: University of Amsterdam
  • Page count: 68
  • Language: English