Deception: a critical discourse analysis of undercover policing and intelligence operations in Star Wars: The Clone Wars

Colin Atkinson*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This paper takes as its starting point the contention that media representations of crime and policing, and undercover policing in particular, matter. Through a multimodal critical discourse analysis this paper explores the representations of undercover policing and intelligence operations in the animated series Star Wars: The Clone Wars. The paper contends that despite its status as science fiction The Clone Wars engages with several of the real-life practices and challenges of undercover policing and intelligence operations. The overall analysis indicates that The Clone Wars projects an important critique of the morally problematic nature of the militarisation of policing and the routinisation of deceptive undercover policing practices. The paper concludes with a reflection on the consequences of this depiction, arguing that for those practitioners who are willing to engage with representations of their craft in popular culture there are valuable practical lessons to be learned from such fictional accounts.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Policing, Intelligence and Counter Terrorism
Early online date10 Feb 2022
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 10 Feb 2022

Keywords

  • undercover policing
  • intelligence operations
  • media
  • critical discourse analysis
  • Star Wars

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