Graduation Year


Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


International Relations

Reader 1

Aseema Sinha

Reader 2

Mietek P Boduszynski

Rights Information

© SehrTaneja


This thesis explains how national media shape Indian foreign policy toward Pakistan. I use empirical research to explore the contribution of national media to the formulation of policy during the 1999 Kargil War and 2001 Agra Summit between India and Pakistan. I created a database of news articles in the leading national English newspapers—The Times of India and Hindustan Times and then coded and analyzed them. I analyze the media’s role by identifying trends in media strategies such as framing, agenda setting, and manufacturing consent. In addition, I analyze government documents and parliamentary debates to gather information on the policy processes and on government- media relations. I suggest that the media’s role in shaping policy depends on the level of internal dissent, understood as disagreement between the government and the opposition parties. I argue that national dissent allows the media to emerge as an independent actor, influencing the formulation of foreign policy by presenting their own opinions and policy suggestions. This was the case during the Agra Summit. On the other hand, as seen in the case of the Kargil War, during times of national consensus, the media echo the government’s voice and garner public support for the government’s actions. As such, this thesis contributes to existing scholarship and primary fieldwork by providing an original analysis of the intersection of media and foreign policy.