PhD Research

(Working Title) Study on Strategic Narratives: The Case of BRICS

This is a case study research on BRICS strategic narratives. Following a constructivist ontology, this research uses a narrative inquiry to understand how to make sense of changing international relations. BRICS is a multilateral institution comprising of five emerging countries that cooperate on issues of mutual benefit: Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. The methodology that is used is a thematic and narrative analysis of BRICS’ official documents to identify BRICS official strategic narratives.  The second part of my study explores the projection and perception of infrastructure development narratives. I use interview and ethnography methodology to elicit perception of these issue narratives. The theory of Strategic Narratives is deployed to explore BRICS’ commitment to infrastructure development and to distinguish three layers: system narratives (BRICS as a global actor to propose development reform), identity narratives (BRICS as a collective identity joining efforts to act upon development aspirations) and issue narratives (BRICS committed to a range of issues of which infrastructure development is prominent). Identifying tensions among development infrastructure narratives provides indication where to improve strategic communication.

Carolijn has started her PhD research in February 2015 at the University of Otago in New Zealand. She aims to submit her dissertation by December 2017.

Supervisors: Dr Chris Rudd (Politics Department) and Dr. Hugh Slotten (Media, Film & Communication Department)