Dr Bela Arora, Senior Lecturer in Global Governance, has a particular interest in the power relations that serve to maintain the status quo at a global level.
I have an academic grounding in international security, having extensively researched language, power and exploitation in the nuclear arms control process, and I explore such challenges through a sociological lens.
This involves analysis of visible and less visible forms of power that are often used to drive consensus building and norm creation. By calling into question the silences and debates that do not make it to the table of discussion, one can get a glimpse of the gate keeping and agenda setting at local, national and international level.
Research of this nature also engages with the analysis of discourse that places what is said into a social and historical context.
By looking at the example of international conflict, phrases such as ‘surgical air strikes’ may appear to suggest minimal collateral damage or casualties, but the reality may be rather different. Yet the clinical and targeted image may lead people to support a course of action that they would not otherwise deem acceptable.
One can also look at how international events can be ‘spun’ to increase public sense of insecurity, which in turn can make implementation of harder line policies more palatable. This has clear implications for our civil liberties.
The media has a pivotal role in reinforcing and reproducing dominant hegemonic discourses, therefore my research additionally examines their role in manufacturing consent.
My research draws on the work of Antonio Gramsci and I have applied his approach to the analysis of political, social and educational realms.