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Article

The Construction of Fear: The New York Times Deliberation on the USA-Russia Nuclear Discourse

The Russian Journal of Communication. 2011. Vol. 3. No. 3-4. P. 301-321.
Baysha O., Calabrese A.

The term "politics of fear" implies that political elites manipulate  people's excieties intentionally for political reasons. This study investigates how the image of frightening Russia has been maintained by the New York Times since the collapse of the USSR. The study focuses on the nuclear dialogue between Moscow and Washington. Starting from December 25, 1991, and finishing with December 5, 2009. the authors analyze 903 of New York Times editorials and opinion pieces. The results of this analysis show that during all the years after the disintegration of the Soviet Union, the whole nuclear discourse related to Russia has been constructed through two different types of fear. The first fear is associated with Russian nukes that were allegedly poorly guarded and could be easily obtained by terrorists or "rough" states; another anxiety referred to Russia's aggressiveness, its unscrupulousness and unpredictability. There is an observable correlation between specific types of fear, which surfaced the New York Times at specific period of time, and specific types of policies conducted by the White House.