Reframing national image: a methodological framework

Xiufang Li, Naren Chitty

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The article addresses the role of national images in international relations and develops a methodological framework for its study. It concludes that national image study should comprise private frames associated with perceived images of other nations, and public frames referring to projected media images of other nations by drawing on framing theory. It suggests that in-depth interview with intermediate elites can be employed to explore private frames, and the inductive or the deductive approaches to public frames. There is recognition that inquiry is conducted in the shadow of a dynamic world politics and within a historical context, and public diplomacy can be used to build national reputation. To examine the associations between public and private frames of a given country will prepare the ways for the identification of alternative frames and framing devices that may result in variation in public opinion, contributing to national image building in the state under study, and promote understanding and relationships between countries.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
JournalConflict and communication online
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2009


  • framing
  • image
  • intermediate elites
  • international relations
  • media
  • public opinion


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