“Politics by Numbers: Plato’s Shadows Provide a Ray of Hope?” by James R. Sullivan is the latest perspective article for Security Nexus.
The paper examines how countries shape media narratives before military actions, focusing on the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine and potential China-Taiwan conflict. Sentiment analysis shows Russia’s domestic media sentiment toward Ukraine fell significantly pre-invasion but returned to earlier levels afterward. This shift might signal Russia’s negotiation strategy or a sustained, lower-intensity conflict. In contrast, China’s media sentiment toward Taiwan remains positive, avoiding the dehumanizing rhetoric Russia used against Ukraine, indicating different strategic narratives in the China-Taiwan context.
Sullivan is an adjunct fellow at Pacific Forum and an external associate at the Economic Conflict and Cooperation Research Group in the Defense Studies Department at King’s College London, where he is a Ph.D. candidate. He has also been a visiting scholar at the Daniel K. Inouye Asia Pacific Center for Security Studies.