Evidentiality & Security Literacy

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Evidentiality & Security Literacy

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Evidentiality & Security Literacy

  1. 1. Evidentiality & Security Literacy Prof. Dr. Una Dirks (University of Hildesheim, Germany)
  2. 2. Contents <ul><li>1 Security Literacy – what for? </li></ul><ul><li>2 The empirical impact on resilience: the Iraq war at issue </li></ul><ul><li>3 Tools for ‚decamouflaging‘ arguments from ignorance </li></ul><ul><li>4 A Framework for Guaranteeing ‚High Quality‘ Information: The CIA‘s New Rules </li></ul>© U. Dirks
  3. 3. 1 Security Literacy – what for? <ul><ul><li>Security literacy enables you … </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>to identify indicators for the quality of evidentiality in discourses. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>to make systematic differences between qualitative & ‚objective‘ evidence. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>to be aware of evidentiality in relation to varying situational conditions (cf. resilience). </li></ul></ul>© U. Dirks
  4. 4. 2 The Empirical Impact on Resilience: The Iraq War at issue <ul><ul><li>Political & communication studies as well as linguistic media research focus on conflicts that have escalated, not on their prior development (exceptions: Dorman/Livingston 1994, Shaw/Martin 1993). </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Lack of knowledge about prevention of war: Why has the Iraq conflict escalated? To which extent were the war reasons justified? How did the media cover the war reasons? </li></ul></ul>© U. Dirks
  5. 5. Traditionally: Focus on War & its Outcomes Situation at the beginning of action ? situation after action logic of the situation (context) actors‘ framings ? (cf. qualitative evidence) logic of selecting specific practices waging of the Iraq war logic of aggregation (effects) individual effects collective effects © U. Dirks
  6. 6. 2a) Resilience in relation to ‚Interpretive Explanations‘ (‚Verstehendes Erklären‘) <ul><ul><li>But : </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Research project on the „De-/construction of the Iraq war in the media“ during the pre-war period; </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Supported by the German Foundation for Peace Research (2004-2008). </li></ul></ul>© U. Dirks
  7. 7. Focus on the Pre-War Situation Situation before the Iraq war situation after action logic of the situation (context) actors‘ framings (cf. qualitative evidence) logic of selecting specific practices waging of the Iraq war logic of aggregation (effects) individual effects collective effects © U. Dirks
  8. 8. Reconstructing the Situation‘s History Situations 1,2,n : Ext. & interior conditions logic of the situation (context) actors‘ framings (cf. qualitative evidence) logic of selecting specific practices process of acting logic of aggregation (effects) individual effects © U. Dirks Situation before the Iraq war = situation after events 1,2,n & its effects Critical Discourse Moments (CDM‘s): referring to salient, dramatized topics (cf. Chilton 1987)
  9. 9. CDMs: Sphere of Politics Sphere of the Media © U. Dirks Sep 01 Oct 01 Nov 01 Dec 01 Jan 02 Jun 02 Jul 02 Aug 02 Sep 02 Oct 02 Nov 02 Dec 02 Jan 03 Feb 03 Mar 03 Terror attacks (11.09.01) War Enduring Freedom (07.10.01) Bush: „Axis of Evil“ (29.01.02) (Bush: „Preemptive Strike“ West Point, 01.06.02) Approval of Iraq war by Congress (10./11.10.02) 1 st anniversary terror attacks (11.09.02) Bush: address to UN (12.09.02) Elections of Congress (05.11.02) UN Security Council: Resolution 1441 (08.11.02) Restart of weapon inspections (27.11.02) Bush: State of the Union address(28.01.03) Powell: address to UN Security Council (05.02.03) Bush: Ultimatum to Saddam Hussein (17.03.03) War Iraqi Freedom (20.03.03) Address Cheney Nashville: „There is no doubt that S.H. now has WMDs.“ (26.08.02) Congress approves Use of Force (14.09.01) Bush signs Dept. of HS (25.11.02) <ul><li>Situation </li></ul><ul><li>at the outset </li></ul>(II) Growing Density of Agenda (Karzai appointed President of Afghanistan (22.12.01) Key Dates, in: AEI (2005), America after 9/11, S. 253-254, amendments by Viehrig & Dirks. Abrupt change of genre practices (cf. ‚ rally around the flag‘- Effect, Russett et al. 2004) News conference w. Bush (06.03.03) (III) Agenda profiling Excluded from investigation Jan 02 Diversification: heterogeneous framing & priming, multiple addressing ‚ Paths‘ of reporting get etablished: Extension of diversification with habitualized genre practices exploited for emotionally loaded soundbite-arrangements in the face of continuous uncertainty about the weapon situation in Iraq Clear-cut profiles of media (actors‘) preferential strategies Summit of Foreign Ministers F, Ru, G (05.03.03) Blix report on disarmament UN Security Council (5/7.3.03) (does not hit the agenda)
  10. 10. <ul><li>26.05.2004, 12.08.2004: </li></ul><ul><li>The NYT & WP (not the FAZ & SZ) submit their apologies to their readers for having reported on the basis of insufficiently proved information about the war reasons, particularly on their front pages . </li></ul><ul><li>„ The front page is a newspaper’s billboard, its way of making a statement about what is important, and stories trumpeted there are often picked up by other news outlets.” (Kurtz 2004) </li></ul><ul><li>What had happened? </li></ul>Preview: Excuses of the US-Media © U. Dirks
  11. 11. 2b) Selected Research Findings – the pre-war period <ul><ul><li>The semiotic artefacts (verbal/visual texts) of the political and media spheres were dominated by politicians‘ framings dealing with the purported war reasons (WMD‘s, terrorist collaboration of Hussein with al Qaeda). </li></ul></ul>© U. Dirks
  12. 12. NYT/WP: LexisNexis-Research about the War Reasons (Viehrig 2007) © U. Dirks Archiv LexisNexis, quantity of articles w. searched terms in whole texts (Viehrig 2007).
  13. 13. SZ/FAZ: LexisNexis-Research about the War Reasons (Viehrig 2007) © U. Dirks Archiv LexisNexis, quantity of articles w. searched terms in titles & leads (Viehrig 2007).
  14. 14. 2b) Selected Research Findings – the pre-war period <ul><ul><li>The semiotic artefacts (verbal/visual texts) of the political and media spheres were dominated by politicians‘ framings , dealing with the purported war reasons (WMD‘s, terrorist collaboration of Hussein with al Qaeda). </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Politicians‘ framings contained ‚narrated‘, but unproved information. Actors of the media sphere hardly ever chal-lenged this kind of „qualitative evidence“ attributing it a factive status: „Arguments ad ignorantiam“ (Walton 1989: 47). </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Journalists served as „animators“ of politicians‘ sound-bites (Goffman 1981: 226) , not as advocates in search of ‚good reasons‘ (media as the ‚Fourth Estate‘?); the German press copied the US press: „Wir haben alle voneinander abgeschrieben“. </li></ul></ul>© U. Dirks
  15. 15. Examples: Fallacious framings – fallacious reasoning © U. Dirks Jacques Chirac in an interview with the NYT: Asking for evidence of the ‚WMD‘s! NYT, 09.09.02 : Two front page articles about the interview with Chirac w.o. his request! Relegated to A9 (!): Chirac asked for „‘indisputable proof‘ of the existence of WMD‘s“.
  16. 16. Jacques Chirac asking for evidence of the ‚WMD‘s‘ © U. Dirks NYT, 09.09.02, A1 : Potentially supportive quotations of members of the US-Administration (TIME AS NO RESOURCE, POWER IS UP/ POLITICS IS ACTION): „ ... Cheney warned grimly that ‚time is not on our side ‘, ... Hussein‘s efforts to build an arsenal of immensely destructive weapons left the US little choice but to act against Iraq. ‚There shouldn‘t be any doubt in anybody‘s mind that this president is absolutely bound and determined to deal with this threat ‘ ... He said that Iraq was sparing no effort to revive its nuclear weapon program ...“ Rice : „‘there will always be some uncertainty about how quickly ‘ Mr. Hussein can acquire nuclear weapons .“ (cf. FAZ) Rumsfeld : „ The world cannot wait to see what Iraq may do .“
  17. 17. Selected Research Findings – the pre-war period (cont.) <ul><ul><li>Actors of the political & media sphere did no t create or resort to evidence-based genre routines . </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Rare primings of counter-perspectives (political opposition, weapon reports) on the agenda, the exploitation of counter-metaphors like WAR IS DOWN, DIPLOMACY-AS-A-JOURNEY, TIME-AS-A-RESOURCE does not succeed in contrast to TIME AS A MENACE, POWER IS UP, POLITICS AS ACTION (domestic framings). </li></ul></ul>© U. Dirks
  18. 18. Interdependencies between the Spheres of Politics & the Media © U. Dirks Politicians‘ Practices Effects of Politicians‘ Practices Situational Conditions of an Event Situational Conditions of Journalists‘ Work Effects of Journalists‘ Practices Journalists‘ Practices The communicative challenge: qualitative evidence – no ‚objective‘ evidence
  19. 19. Reasons for missing evidence-based genre routines © U. Dirks <ul><ul><li>Staff writers have been in great danger of losing their jobs due to the ‚media crisis‘, don‘t risk inno- vations. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Media actors (journalists) ‚sell‘ news to be bought by as many readers as possible (ca. 1/3 of papers‘ income) and found supportable by advertisers (ca. 2/3 of papers‘ income). </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Media actors try to make their papers as easily accessible as possible by the assumed readership in spite of the news‘ ‚foreignness‘: Reports of the US-media obey to the criterium ‚storifyable‘ (‚do- mestication‘) resulting into antithetic soundbite- arrangements. </li></ul></ul>
  20. 20. Pincus (WP): Political Discourse about „facts“ instead of „quotes“ <ul><ul><li>The eldest political journalist of the Washington Post, Walter Pincus: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>„ The main thing people forget to do is reading documents .“ </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>„ First of all, it‘s [a good report] got to be factual , to me it‘s a basis of everything. And the problem with reporting these days is that people tend to write much too long pieces and they tend to put too many quotes from people .“ (Interview 4/126ff.) </li></ul></ul>© U. Dirks
  21. 21. POLITICAL DISCOURSE AS STORY TELLING <ul><ul><li>Editor of the Washington Post, Leonard DownieJr: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>„ ... difficulties in editing Pincus may have been a factor in the pre-war period, because he is ›so well sourced‹ that his reporting often amounts to putting together ›fragments‹ until the pieces were […] ›storifyable‹.” (Kurtz 2004) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Maxim of public discourse: provide information from the political sphere with „ a narrative view on life “ (Hymes 1996). </li></ul></ul>© U. Dirks
  22. 22. Building Blocks of Stories <ul><ul><li>Referring to events that happened in the past </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>at specific places </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>binary Membership Category Devices: ‘good guys’ vs. ‘bad guys’ </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>category-bound activities seemingly close to everyday experience (‘domestic framings’): practices of ingroup’s & outgroup’s members are praised or blamed for unfavorable conditions (cf. blame stories), e.g. connected with appella-tive speech acts in the shape of ‘urging’, threatening, etc. </li></ul></ul>© U. Dirks
  23. 23. Chances for creating new Stories? <ul><ul><li>Depending on </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>amount of time, cognitive & material resources for investigative approaches </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>creative practices of connecting narrative structures with new contents, e.g. telling a story about how experts of different interest groups tried to find evidence for their arguments providing the audience with proper information about the quality of experts’ findings resulting into a discourse about good evidence in contrast to relying on politicians’ framings, only. </li></ul></ul>© U. Dirks
  24. 24. 3 Tools for ‚decamouflaging‘ „arguments from ignorance“ <ul><ul><li>No help from linguistic sub-/disciplines? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>„ Unfortunately, in spite of the professed attention to argument as a form of ordinary, contextually embedded language use or situated discourse, in informal logic, as yet, no systematic study has been undertaken of what these indicators are and how exactly they should be used in reconstructing unexpressed premises “. (van Rees 2001: 182) </li></ul></ul>© U. Dirks
  25. 25. A Taxonomy of Security Literacy (cogn. Sociolinguistics) © U. Dirks Strategies of de-/ encoding Meaning Indicators & Practices of Security Literacy Description of the situation & its history Taking account of the situation‘s inner conditions : indiv. frames & scripts, identity & of its outer conditions : cultural frames, material resources, institutional rules. Interpretive understanding I Re-/construction of actors‘ framings: how did they define the situation (cf. ‚covert action‘)? Why? e.g. COHESION of X/Y IS UP Interpretive understanding II Re-/construction of actors‘ scripts: which practice(s) have they chosen to enact (cf. ‚covert action‘, Schütz 1971)? Description of practices Which practices (orally, written) can be observed or reconstructed? Description of effects Which effects (changes of the prior situation) can be observed? Interpretive Explanations Create causal-functional connections betw. the effects & relevant context factors trying to explain the collective effects, i.e. the explanandum.
  26. 26. A Framework for ‚Interpretive Explanations‘ (cf. Max Weber) Situation before the Iraq war Situation after action logic of the situation (context) actors‘ framings (cf. qualitative evidence) logic of selecting specific practices actors‘ practices logic of aggregation (effects) individual effects collective effects © U. Dirks Searching for evidence of claims
  27. 27. A Taxonomy of Security Literacy (cogn. Sociolinguistics) © U. Dirks Strategies of de-/ encoding Meaning Indicators & Practices of Security Literacy Description of the situation & its history Taking account of the situation‘s inner conditions : indiv. frames & scripts, identity & of its outer conditions : cultural frames, material resources, institutional rules. Interpretive understanding I Re-/construction of actors‘ framings: how did they define the situation (cf. ‚covert action‘)? Why? e.g. COHESION of X/Y IS UP Interpretive understanding II Re-/construction of actors‘ scripts: which practice(s) have they chosen to enact (cf. ‚covert action‘, Schütz 1971)? Description of practices Which practices (orally, written) can be observed or reconstructed? Description of effects Which effects (changes of the prior situation) can be observed? Interpretive Explanations Create causal-functional connections betw. the effects & relevant context factors trying to explain the collective effects, i.e. the explanandum.
  28. 28. A Framework for ‚Interpretive Explanations‘ (cf. Max Weber) Situation before the Iraq war Situation after action logic of the situation (context) actors‘ framings logic of selecting specific practices actors‘ practices logic of aggregation (effects) individual effects collective effects (explanandum) © U. Dirks Searching for effect-related context factors
  29. 29. 4) A Framework for Guaranteeing ‚High Quality‘ Information: The CIA‘s New Rules <ul><li>The CIA is responsible for National Intelligence Estimates (NIE). New checklist items : … </li></ul>© U. Dirks <ul><li>Production of a concept paper or Terms of Reference (TOR) defining the key estimative questions & determining the drafting responsibilities. (diversity of experts‘ framings) </li></ul><ul><li>Drafts are circulated throughout different Intelligence Communities (IC‘s) for comment, discussed „line by line“ & redrafted several times. (relevance of experts‘ framings checked on behalf of evidence in documents) </li></ul><ul><li>IC members „assign the level of confidence they have in each key statement“. (application of experts‘ knowledge for estimating the level of confidence) </li></ul>
  30. 30. The CIA‘s New Rules (cont.) © U. Dirks <ul><li>New formal assessments of source reports & technical judgements by different directors of the Intelligence Services highlighting strengths, weaknesses, overall credibility of sources. (contrastive waging of relevance/ probability of sources for judgements) </li></ul><ul><li>Reliable information has to originate from different sources. (securing the reliability of sources) </li></ul><ul><li>Contradictory judgments are highlighted and explained and prominently displayed in the Key Judgment. (avoidance of unjustified exclusion of seemingly deviant judgements) </li></ul>
  31. 31. IC-members‘ Estimates: Focus on elliptic social realities? Situation: outer /inner? conditions collective effects? logic of the situation (context) actors‘ framings? logic of selecting specific practices process of acting? logic of aggregation (effects) probable individual effects? © U. Dirks
  32. 32. The CIA‘s New Rules (cont.) © U. Dirks <ul><li>Careful explanations of the meaning to be assigned to the phrasing of judgments (cf. epistemic modalities): </li></ul><ul><li>„ We use phrases such as we judge, we assess , and we estimate — and probabilistic terms such as probably and likely — to convey analytical assessments and judgments. Such statements are not facts, proof, or knowledge. These assessments and judgments generally are based on collec-ted information, which often is incomplete or fragmentary. (…) In all cases, assessments and judgments are not inten-ded to imply that we have “proof” that shows something to be a fact or that definitively links two items or issues.” (NIE, Nov. 2007, p. 5) </li></ul>
  33. 33. The CIA‘s New Rules (cont.) © U. Dirks „ Estimates of Likelihood: Because analytical statements are not certain, we use probabilistic language to reflect the Community‘s estimates of the likelihood of developments or events . Terms such as probably, likely, very likely or almost certainly indicate a greater than even chance. The terms unlikely and remote indicate a less than even chance that an event will occur; they do not imply that an event will not occur. Terms such as might or may reflect situations in which we are unable to assess the likelihood, generally because relevant information is unavailable, sketchy, or fragmented. Terms such as we cannot dismiss, we cannot rule out, we cannot discount reflect an unlikely, improbable, or remote event whose consequences are such that it warrants mentioning.” (very careful language use when assessing factive attributes to information & its sources)
  34. 34. The CIA‘s New Rules (cont.) © U. Dirks Estimates of Likelihood – a chart for proper terms in an hierarchical order (cf. epistemic modals): “ Remote very unlikely unlikely even chance probably/likely very likely almost certainly. ” Literature : National Intelligence Estimate. Iran: Nuclear intentions and capabilities. Washington D.C., Nov. 2007, p. 5
  35. 35. Net of Metaphors I: FAZ; partly WP, NYT © U. Dirks ‚ Priming‘: Frame Alignment w . sit.-def. by US-Government POWER IS UP / UN AS FORCE POLITICS AS ACTION TIME AS A MENACE/ TIME AS NO RESOURCE COHESION of Germany & the USA IS UP WESTERN NATIONS AS VULNERABLE BODIES SECURITY AS A FRAGILE CONTAINER DIPLOMACY AS A DEADEND SADDAM HUSSEIN (the ‚oriental other‘?) AS ANIMAL trying to devour us / AS RULEBREAKER POLITICS AS STORY TELLING
  36. 36. Net of metaphors II: SZ; partly WP, NYT © U. Dirks Frame-Alignment vs. construction of heterogeneous counter realities (hardly primed) UN RULES ARE UP / WAR IS DOWN / MORAL IS UP TIME AS A (LIMITED) RESOURCE COHESION of the UN & the EU IS UP DIPLOMACY AS A JOURNEY SADDAM HUSSEIN (the ‚oriental other‘?) AS RULEBREAKER, HUNTER of weapons POLITICS AS STORY TELLING
  37. 37. The Genre „Front Page Article“ © U. Dirks What is a genre? A textualized, habitualized, potentially hybrid struc-ture- & agency complex (here: texts of the press) that offers its users situation-bound, meta-/linguistic orientations when searching for communicative solutions that suit specific social demands. Hence, genres comprise the communicative chan-ces & obstacles „of constructing, maintaining & changing social order.“ (Luckmann 1986: 205; cf. Bakhtin 1996, Volosinov)

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