Aina S. Niaz

Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)


Political Science


Colin Flint


The geopolitical significance of Pakistan in the Global War on Terror has led to multiple instances of the US acting in an extra-territorial manner. Repeated territorial intrusion by the US strains US-Pakistan relations because extra-territoriality is viewed as a violation of Pakistan’s sovereignty. This study analyzes Pakistani-English political cartoons to examine the ways the US extra-territoriality is represented. Approximately 2940 political cartoons are collected from four Pakistani-English newspapers: Dawn, The Express Tribune, The Nation, and The News. Wallerstein’s world-system theory provides the theoretical backdrop to demonstrate the explicit (military) and implicit (economic, cultural, and political/diplomatic) means a hegemonic-core power can act extra-territorially towards a state in the periphery. A combination of content analysis and social semiotic analysis methodologies is used. Content analysis reveals a total of 323 US-related political cartoons that are classified into themes of economic, cultural, military, and political/diplomatic depictions in political cartoons. A visual social semiotic analysis deconstructs the visual rhetoric of extra-territoriality as expressed in the various themed political cartoons. The outcome of these two methodologies provides a holistic illustration of the ways US extra-territoriality in a sovereign but periphery state like Pakistan is viewed.