Pop Wars. Popular Culture, Online Platforms, and the Representation of International Issues

The IDF Case


  • Alessandra Massa Università di Cagliari

Parole chiave:

popular culture, online platforms, digital militarism, international communication, Twitter


This contribution reflects on the results of an exploratory qualitative analysis investigating how pop elements are used in the international communication of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), considering the English-language Twitter account.

According to the narrative and aesthetic turns in international relations, security and military affairs can be conveyed even by popular entertainment. So then, digital militarism transfers military affairs to the terrains of social media.

The thematic and qualitative content analysis results show how IDF employs pop elements to perform different kinds of militarism, namely essential militarism, contentious militarism, and normalizing militarism. Moreover, the peculiar tone of voice set by the recurrence of pop elements helps to dialogue with other international actors, crystalizing traditional polarizations.

However, not all events can be conveyed by pop narratives: while confrontations and self-representation are frequently displayed through pop culture elements, reports on traditional security issues remain anchored to a narrative based on emergency alerts or emotional features. 

Biografia autore

Alessandra Massa, Università di Cagliari

Alessandra Massa holds a PhD in Communication, Research, Innovation from Sapienza University of Rome. She works mainly on international political communication, popular geopolitics, digital diplomacy and international implications of platform use. She has collaborated on several research projects, working with multidisciplinary teams on the following topics: new generations and radicalization, online platforms and international relations, public sector communication and politics, and gender and identity. Among his most recent publications: (with G. Anzera) Media digitali e relazioni internazionali (Digital media and international relations), Guerini, Milan




Come citare

Massa, A. (2022). Pop Wars. Popular Culture, Online Platforms, and the Representation of International Issues: The IDF Case. Mediascapes Journal, 19(1), 128–141. Recuperato da https://rosa.uniroma1.it/rosa03/mediascapes/article/view/17832