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Title:Making Enemies: Articulations of the "Enemy" in the War on Terror
Author(s):Monje, David Matthew
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):McCarthy, Cameron
Department / Program:Communications
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Mass Communications
Abstract:This dissertation examines the discourses, following the terrorist attacks on U.S. soil, that have articulated the rationalization for the imposition of "American style" democracy and neoliberal economic policy in the Middle East and around the globe. Drawing on Michel Foucault's concepts of governmentality, sovereignty, and disciplinarity, as they are understood within cultural studies, this dissertation examines the relationship of these neoliberal discourses of security, democracy, nation, and identity to increasingly antidemocratic political practices. More specifically, this dissertation asks how the public language of the George W. Bush presidency, through key presidential speeches and policy statements following 9/11, has articulated both domestic and international U.S. interests in the context of preexisting trends toward the globalization of neoliberal rationalities and the increasing depoliticization of cultural, economic, and political issues under the rubric of security. The context for this drift is complex and multifaceted, and it denies the facile and categorical distinctions between cultural, religious, linguistic, political, and economic domains typical of social scientific methodologies. Rather, in these discursive formations, cultural, religious, and political constructions of collective and individual identity are employed as disciplinary techniques on the micro level, and as legitimating strategies on the macro level. These articulations of national interest have been used to justify the military occupations of Afghanistan and Iraq specifically in the name of America's War on Terror, and more generally the continued political, economic, and military intervention in those countries. This dissertation argues that the events of 9/11 were pivotal, not in terms of a major historical shift, but in the ideological and figurative reindexing of American democracy and American foreign policy against the backdrop of the Arab world. This is articulated in large part through the discourse of redeeming the non-Westerner for neoliberalism's twin ideologies: democracy and capitalism. It is an iteration of the old Cold War adage "making the world safe for democracy." Although this reindexing of the U.S. posture toward the world has novel elements, it is more fundamentally an extension of preexisting articulations of the role of the United States in global politics.
Issue Date:2007
Description:246 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2007.
Other Identifier(s):(MiAaPQ)AAI3290323
Date Available in IDEALS:2015-09-28
Date Deposited:2007

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