Professor's book honored by International Studies Association

Co-authored by Elon University's Laura Roselle, "Strategic Narratives: Communication Power and the New World Order" received the 2016 International Communication Book Award for having made "the most substantial impact in the area of international communication in the context of international studies."

Professor Laura Roselle (photo credit: Krisztian Bocsi)
A book co-authored by a top Elon University scholar will be honored early next year when the International Communications Section of the International Studies Association meets in Atlanta for its 2016 conference.

Professor Laura Roselle’s “Strategic Narratives: Communication Power and the New World Order” has received the organization’s 2016 International Communication Book Award for making “the most substantial impact in the area of International Communication in the context of international studies.”

“We began with the idea that communication is central to how we understand international affairs, but this is a complicated thing to study,” Roselle said. “The book took years to develop as we wrestled with the complex issues associated with the formation, projection and reception of political narratives in a new media environment.

“We are thrilled that ISAICOMM has recognized our work as important to an understanding of international relations and communication.”

Roselle joined with colleagues Alister Miskimmon and Benjamin O’Loughlin of Royal Holloway, the University of London, to focus on the communication methods and structure of narratives that political actors use, whether they be politicians, diplomats, or regular citizens.

Published by Routledge, the book is arranged around four themes: order, actors, contestation and information infrastructure. It explores how those themes shape the way communications can work, and the authors investigate interactions and structured narratives by international actors as well as domestic policy makers.

The book also examines strategic narratives as an alternative to a previous concept of “soft power.”

“The authors carefully unpack important trends across a range of geopolitical, as well as cultural and theoretical spaces, to present a unified framework that distills complex systems into meaningful understanding,” the award selection committee wrote of the book. “At a time when acceptance of ‘soft power’ is universally and uncritically adopted by both governments and the academic community, Strategic Narratives reminds us that the concept of ‘power’ is neglected too readily in favor of more cultural approaches to strategic international communications.

“From the narrative of the book as a whole with its beautifully written and carefully researched and referenced chapters, to its powerful, cross-disciplinary arguments, this volume will serve as a foundation that informs and impacts the next generation of political communication and international relations scholarship (and practice).”

Roselle joined Elon’s faculty in 1993 after earning her bachelor’s degree from Emory University and her master’s and doctorate from Stanford University. She received Elon University’s Distinguished Scholar Award in 2009 and, two years later, was named an Elon Senior Faculty Fellow.