With new book, Roselle explores the global power of strategic narratives

Political Science Professor Laura Roselle has published the book, "Forging the World: Strategic Narratives and International Relations," with the University of Michigan Press.  

A new book by Laura Roselle, professor of political science and policy studies, explores how political actors can shape the global power structure as much by the use of strategic narratives as by the military and economic resources they can bring to bear. 

"Forging the World," a new book co-edited by Elon Political Science Professor Laura Roselle, was published in January by the Universith of Michigan Press. 
Co-edited by Roselle with Royal Holloway, University of London colleagues Alister Miskimmon and Ben O’Loughlin, “Forging the World: Strategic Narratives and International Relations” continues the work of the trio to look at the power of strategic narratives in today’s global society. The book was published in January by the University of Michigan Press, and is the second the trio of scholars have collaborated on. 

“One of the things that intrigued us from the very beginning about the concept of strategic narratives was the understanding that you can’t just use power resources, such as how many guns a country has, to explain how the international system works, and who has power,” Roselle said. “It goes beyond the material resources they have to the ideas. The ideas and narratives — the values a country has — those shape what happens in the world as well.”

In the volume, Roselle and her colleagues have collected insights from a range of scholars who take a broad geographic look at how strategic narratives are impacting international relations, with chapters focusing on China, the Middle East, Japan and the European Union. Roselle, Miskimmon and O’Loughlin have also contributed their own chapter to the book, which follows their earlier work, “Strategic Narratives: Communication Power and the New World Order.”

Laura Roselle, professor of political science and policy studies
​”It’s a broad range,” Roselle said. “We wanted to cover some major issues that are important to international relations and see how this notion of strategic narratives could help us understand them,” Roselle said. “It really is about persuasion and how different political actors attempt to persuade others that their view of the world is the one that should structure the system. That’s extremely important right now because of the transition in the United States.”

The book’s publication comes as Roselle prepares to receive the Distinguished Scholar Award from the International Communications Section of the International Studies Association at the association’s annual convention later this month. The award recognizes Roselle as a top scholar in her field, with the meeting to include a panel discussion of her work and research. 

Roselle is also co-editing a special issue for the peer-reviewed journal Politics and Governance with Matthew Levinger, professor of international affairs and director of the National Security Studies Program at The George Washington University’s Ellitt School of International Affairs, that will be published this fall.