Representing human rights violations in darfur: Global justice, national distinctions

Joachim J. Savelsberg, Hollie Nyseth Brehm

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This article examines how international judicial interventions in mass atrocity influence representations of violence. It relies on content analysis of 3,387 articles and opinion pieces in leading newspapers from eight Western countries, compiled into the Darfur Media Dataset, as well as in-depth interviews to assess how media frame violence in the Darfur region of Sudan. Overall, it finds that UN Security Council and International Criminal Court interventions increase representations of mass violence as crime in all countries under investigation, although each country applies the crime frame at a different level. Reporting suffering and categorizing the violence as genocide also varies across countries. Comparative case studies identify country specific structural and cultural forces that appear to account for these differences. Multilevel multivariate analyses confirm the explanatory power of cultural sensitivities and policy practices, while individualand organization-level factors, such as reporters’ gender and the newspapers’ ideological orientation, also have explanatory power.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)564-603
Number of pages40
JournalAmerican Journal of Sociology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Sep 2015

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