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Durham e-Theses
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The Representation of Trade Wars in Western Newsmagazines:
A Critical Discourse Analysis of Time, The Economist, L’Express, and Der Spiegel on China (2010) and Japan (1987)

NG, DAMIEN,TECK,HIAN (2019) The Representation of Trade Wars in Western Newsmagazines:
A Critical Discourse Analysis of Time, The Economist, L’Express, and Der Spiegel on China (2010) and Japan (1987).
Doctoral thesis, Durham University.

Full text not available from this repository.
Author-imposed embargo until 12 January 2025.


This doctoral thesis explores the representation of China’s and Japan’s trade wars with their trading partners in four Western newsmagazines: Time, The Economist, L’Express, and Der Spiegel. Based on both quantitative and qualitative approaches, this interdisciplinary thesis draws on two analytical frameworks from the realm of critical discourse analysis (CDA), van Leeuwen’s (2008) socio-semantic inventory of social-actor representation and van Dijk’s (1980) notion of macro-rules as the over-arching approaches, supported by multilingualism and translation, to understand the changing dynamics of international relations and the global economy through Western media.
The sample in this thesis consists of 160 headlines and 160 lead texts, half of which are focused on China and the other half on Japan. The time frame stretches across a period of 12 months in 2010 (China) and in 1987 (Japan). The analysis is carried out via four case studies: Case Study 1 on China in the headlines; Case Study 2 on China in the lead texts; Case Study 3 on Japan in the headlines; and Case Study 4 on Japan in the lead texts.
The findings obtained from the empirical research have revealed that China was not only reported more unfavourably than Japan in terms of depth, but also across a broader range of areas spanning economics, politics, and military affairs. It has also emerged that all the four Western newsmagazines tended to centre their coverage on the United States and China in 2010, and the United States and Japan in 1987, although they did not speak in one collective voice with regard to their coverage of China and Japan.
This thesis makes the following three key contributions to scholarship: (1) the inclusion of information drawn from primary sources in Chinese, French, German, and Japanese to complement English-language sources, along with their translation into English where necessary; (2) the inclusion of one French and one German newsmagazine to complement the coverage by one American and one British newsmagazine, thus giving a fuller Western perspective on China and Japan, and (3) the author’s proposed ‘discourse of harm’, which encapsulates the discovery of a separate strand of discourse on the Economic Other that (i) harms others to benefit itself, and (ii) harms others and harms itself.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Keywords:American Hegemony, China, Critical Discourse Analysis, Discourse of Harm, Eurocentrism, Great Power Politics, Japan, Legitimacy, Media Representation, Multilingualism, Trade War, Translation
Faculty and Department:Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Modern Languages and Cultures, School of
Thesis Date:2019
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:26 Mar 2019 10:40

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