"We Answered the Call": Strategic Narrative in NATO's Public Diplomacy for Operation Unified Protector

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Lieffers, Emily Bronwyn Larkin




Over the last twenty years, NATO has shifted from a body of collective regional defense into a globalized security organization, and must now communicate purposefully to manage its public diplomacy in an increasingly distracting and polyphonic media environment. This thesis explores NATO’s use of strategic narrative in its public diplomacy during the 2011 mission in Libya, Operation Unified Protector, with two objectives: to understand the role narratives can play in public diplomacy, and to elucidate NATO’s role as a social actor beyond its military functions. Through narrative analysis of
NATO’s website content, this thesis offers a case study on the power of narrative in military conversations. The findings suggest that NATO used story elements in setting, characters, and plot evolution with intention to manage perceptions of the mission and the alliance’s relevancy, and that more research is needed to expand upon our understandings of narrative in international military settings.


Mass Communications
International Law and Relations
Military Studies




Carleton University

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Theses and Dissertations

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