"Oriental Despotism" and the Democratisation of Iraq in The Australian
MetadataShow full item record
While much recent scholarship has extended Said's critique of Orientalism to the portrayal of people of Middle Eastern descent or of the Islamic faith in the Australian news media, little attention has been paid to the ways in which these same organs utilise Orientalist clich鳠in their reports on democratic developments in the Middle East. This paper seeks to address this lacuna by examining the Australian news media's coverage of the series of democratic elections and the national referendum held in Iraq during 2005. Focusing specifically on The Australian newspaper, this article finds that much of the debate and discussion of Iraq's democratisation has been underpinned by the discourse of "Oriental despotism" and is subsequently premised on the assumption that the Western world is the legitimate legatee of democracy and therefore reserves the right to democratise - under fire if necessary - the backward, barbaric and despotic Middle Eastern "other".
© The Author(s) 2008. The attached file is reproduced here in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. For information about this journal please refer to the journal's website or contact the author.