Kornprobst, Markus.
Kornprobst M. Framing, resonance and war: Foregrounds and backgrounds of cultural congruence. European Journal of International Relations. 2019;25(1):61-85. doi:10.1177/1354066117741675
Publication year: 2019


This article addresses the communicative processes through which leaders succeed or fail to generate public support for going to war. In order to answer this question, I rely on the framing literature’s insight that cultural congruence helps make frames resonate with an audience. Yet, my argument examines this phenomenon in greater depth. There is more to cultural congruence than selecting commonplaces such as analogies and metaphors from a repertoire that the audience widely shares. Culturally congruent framing also features a genre and more general themes that are taken out of such a repertoire. My empirical analysis of Tony Blair’s communicative moves to sway the British public to fight over Kosovo and Iraq provides empirical evidence for this framework. This study makes two important contributions. First, it highlights that public contestations about going to war criss-cross the overly neat categories proposed by most scholars interested in this phenomenon. Second, in identifying different dimensions of framing, this article deepens our understandings of cultural congruence.


  • International Relations