Messages from Beyond the Saffron Revolution : The Language used in the Reports by the United Nations, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch during Burma’s Saffron Revolution in 2007

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http://urn.fi/URN:NBN:fi:hulib-201703272328
Title: Messages from Beyond the Saffron Revolution : The Language used in the Reports by the United Nations, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch during Burma’s Saffron Revolution in 2007
Author: Mäki-Reinikka, Elsa
Other contributor: Helsingin yliopisto, Valtiotieteellinen tiedekunta, Politiikan ja talouden tutkimuksen laitos
University of Helsinki, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Political and Economic Studies
Helsingfors universitet, Statsvetenskapliga fakulteten, Institutionen för politik och ekonomi
Publisher: Helsingfors universitet
Date: 2013
Language: eng
URI: http://urn.fi/URN:NBN:fi:hulib-201703272328
http://hdl.handle.net/10138/38533
Thesis level: master's thesis
Discipline: Political History
Poliittinen historia
Politisk historia
Abstract: The research focuses on the Saffron Revolution in Burma that occurred in 2007 and awoke the international community’s interest. The United Nations (UN), Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch all started reporting on human rights violations that were pursued by the State Peace and Development Council, SPDC, and the tatmadaw against the Buddhist monks and other peaceful protestors that gathered on the streets of the largest cities in Burma. The demands were for the respect for human rights, democracy and the release of Aung San Suu Kyi from house arrest. The research aims at analyzing how the messages from beyond the Saffron Revolution were spread to different audiences across the world in the form of metaphors and by the use of persuasion. The research also aims at opening up how the reports of the three organizations portray the different actors in Burma’s Saffron Revolution in 2007. The framework advances by firstly comparing the use of metaphors in the reports and discussing how the use of metaphors affects historical representation. Secondly, the use of persuasion in the reports is analyzed, by showing how persuasion is directed towards the different actors in the Saffron Revolution. The primary sources consisted of the reports published by the UN, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch in August to December 2007. The interdisciplinary method used in the research combines the case study method, which in the field of history focuses on one event in history, and the comparative content analysis method. The theoretical literature focuses on the study of rhetoric, and in particular Kenneth Burke’s theory of persuasion and different theories on metaphors. One of the central findings of the research is that the UN, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch radically differ in the use of war metaphors, which are not seen in the UN reports at all. All organizations use personification metaphors, metaphors for Savages, Victims and Saviors, and path metaphors. The second finding is that the use of persuasion also differs within the reports. Human Rights Watch does not direct recommendations towards the government and the tatmadaw, but instead focuses on the other actors that could possibly persuade the SPDC and the tatmadaw to end their human rights violations. The shaming technique, ideological persuasion and the socialization into the international community are also methods of persuasion that are noticeable in the reports. The conclusion is that the reports do not always represent the actors equally, but place the emphasis on the victims and saviors of the Saffron Revolution. The voice of the military regime is not heard, with a few exceptions of the Government’s official English government newspaper, the New Light of Myanmar, being mentioned and quoted in the reports. This creates a hierarchical situation between the different actors, which is not in line with the aims of the organizations, which fight for equality in the human rights arena.Tutkielma keskittyy vuoden 2007 Burman Sahramivallankumoukseen. Tutkielman käsittelyn kohteena ovat Sahramivallankumouksesta kirjoitetut raportit, sekä raporteissa ilmentyvä retoriikka. Tutkielmassa käsitellään, miten metaforat ja eri taivutteluun liittyvät tavat esiintyvät käytetyissä raporteissa. Primäärilähteinä toimivat Sahramivallankumouksesta kirjoitetut YK:n, Amnesty Internationalin ja Human Rights Watchin raportit. Keskeisimmät tulokset liittyvät metaforien ja taivuttelun ilmentymiseen eri raporteissa. Raporttien käyttöä ja eettisyyttä käsitellään myös tutkimustuloksissa. Johtopäätöksenä on, että eri toimijoita esitetään eri tavoin ja Burman sotilasjuntta kuvaillaan usein negatiiviseen sävyyn, vaikka heidän ääni ei kuulu raporteissa juuri lainkaan. Tämä aiheuttaa hierarkkisen tilanteen eri toimijoiden välillä.
Subject: Human Rights Watch
Amnesty International
Yhdistyneet Kansakunnat
Sahramivallankumous
Burma


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