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The Social Construction of Mistakes: Germany’s Abstention on UN Security Council Resolution 1973 on Libya

  • Kai Oppermann
  • Alexander Spencer
Chapter

Abstract

The chapter explores how Germany’s abstention in the UN Security Council vote on Resolution 1973 in March 2011 regarding the military intervention in Libya was constituted as a mistake in German media reporting. To this purpose, we introduce narrative analysis as a discourse-analytical method for investigating the social construction of foreign policy mistakes. Based on insights from literary studies and Narratology, the chapter suggests that stories of mistakes have a number of key elements, including a particular setting which defines appropriate behaviour, the negative characterization of agents as well as an emplotment of mistakes through the attribution of cause and responsibility.

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kai Oppermann
    • 1
  • Alexander Spencer
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of PoliticsUniversity of SussexBrightonUK
  2. 2.Institute of Social Sciences and HistoryOtto-von-Guericke University MagdeburgMagdeburgGermany

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