First Advisor

Harry Anastasiou

Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.) in Conflict Resolution


Conflict Resolution




Conflict management -- Political aspects -- Case studies, International Propaganda -- Political aspects -- Case studies, International Communication -- Political aspects -- Case studies



Physical Description

1 online resource (v, 140 p.) : 1 col. ill.


In protracted international conflicts, truth is often sacrificed in the name of victory. Political realists see international politics as a competition to win power, retain power, and demonstrate power; misleading the enemy in the name of strategy and misleading the public in the name of security are necessary elements of the game. A less obvious condition is that those caught in the cycle of intergroup conflict also withhold truths from themselves. This denial of truth and reality--to the Other, to the public, and to the self--is especially prevalent in the communicative relationship between the United States and the Islamic Republic of Iran. This study explores the communicative relationship between the United States and Iran via mass media with a particular focus on propaganda as "natural." The literature review explains how conflict-conditioned communication grows and operates within the context of intergroup conflict, including the significance of globalization and information technology. The communicative relationship between the United States and Iran is used as a case study to explore conflict-conditioned communication. A snapshot of the U.S.-Iran communicative relationship was taken from May 1, 2005 - May 1, 2008. Articles from three print and online media sources were combed and analyzed for examples and patterns of conflict-conditioned communication. The method is based on an approach to understanding conflict-conditioned communication that was developed by Dr. Harry Anastasiou, a conflict resolution professional and educator. The method additionally utilizes the work of Dr. William O. Beeman, an expert on misperceptions between the United States and Iran. The conflict-conditioned communicative relationship between the United States and Iran shows how legitimate concerns and human needs are filtered through collective psychology, history, and national identity and absorbed into misperceptions. These misperceptions are perpetuated through propaganda and lead to unyielding political positions. The dual phenomena of globalization and advanced information technology amplify these unyielding political positions by spreading propagandized misperceptions faster and farther than ever before. As the United States and Iran become more entrenched in unyielding political positions, communication reduces to competing systems of propaganda, thus making peaceful conflict resolution less likely.


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Portland State University. Dept. of Conflict Resolution

Persistent Identifier