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Title: De-militarising terrorism : (how) does the Obama administration disarticulate discourse of the Global War on Terror
Author: Athanassiou , Cerelia
Awarding Body: University of Bristol
Current Institution: University of Bristol
Date of Award: 2013
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US President Barack Obama promised to undo the Global War on Terror (GWOT). To do this, he used a series of discursive manoeuvres that positioned him as the marker of 'change' in opposition to the 'Bush era' politics of exceptionalism, fear and unilateralism. How then does the Obama administration disarticulate the discourse of the GWOT? This thesis provides a comprehensive appraisal of the structuring conditions and constraints of the GWOT and then explores Obama's de-militarising, re-legalising and hubris-deconstructing discourse of 'change'. I use discourse theory and feminist International Relations to assess continuity and change in the international politics of US national security. My assessment is based on close analysis of texts and images used by a variety of actors within the Obama administration who communicated a 'changed' US counterterrorism project. This 'change' was articulated through: the invocation of a 'return to the rule of law' after the Bush-era legal excesses'; the 'culture of preparedness' against the previous 'politics of fear'; and the new era of engagement' against the old administration's explicit rejection of international law and politics. This analysis reveals that Obama's discourse of , change' did not constitute a counter-hegemonic project counterposed to the 'Bush era' GWOT. Instead, Obama reproduced militarising tropes for ensuring 'security' that reaffirm the heteromasculine, racialised and exceptionalist workings of the US nation-state as. militarised protector and hegemon. The Obama administration's discursive manoeuvres show how the figurative properties of discourse, as specified in this thesis, perform a hegemonic US national 'security'.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available