Centre for Research in Communication and Culture


31 January 2018

Dr Dimitry Chernobrov - Public Perceptions of international crises: Secure narratives of a positive self

Presented By Dr Dimitry Chernobrov, University of Sheffield
  • 1:00-2:00 pm CRCC Seminar Series
  • U1.22 Brockington Building

About this event

How do people make sense of distant, but disturbing international events? Why are some representations more appealing than others? And what do they mean for the perceiver’s own sense of self? This talk will take up these questions to explore how the general public understand international politics and imagine distant ‘others’ through the prism of collective, and often national, identities. Combining international relations, ontological security approaches and psychosocial studies, I show how the imagining of international politics is self-affirming and is shaped by the need for positive and continuous national self-concepts, rather than by considerations of accuracy. To make this argument, I draw on over 50 semi-structured interviews about the Arab Uprisings conducted in 2012-2013 with Russian and British participants. Interviews show how these crises were interpreted as familiar and predictable, and how these public interpretations were motivated by positive societal self-concepts in need of security.