Do visuals influence support for foreign policy?

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The media landscape proves to be constantly evolving. The rise of digital media has led to an increased importance of images ad narratives, catalysing a revaluation of the role visuals play within world politics. Traditional 20th century theories on the relationship between media and foreign policy fall short in explaining this relationship in the digital age. To bridge this analytical gap, this thesis conducts a comprehensive visual thematic analysis, centred around TikTok videos that revolve around the Russian-Ukrainian war. The results of this analysis reveal a trend of personalized narratives within these videos. The personalization of the story is given meaning by the cultural and geographical proximity. A connection emerges between these videos and their audiences, fostering emotional engagement with the subject. These people have a higher chance to remember the content, and therefore, the videos can have an effect on shaping the perceptions and judgements of these people concerning the war. Thus, this study contributes a nuanced understanding of the evolving dynamics between visual media, emotional engagement, and foreign policy support within the context of the Russian-Ukrainian war.
Faculteit der Managementwetenschappen