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Title: Logics of foreign policy : discourse, fantasy and Germany's policies in the Iraq crisis
Author: Eberle, Jakub
ISNI:       0000 0004 6350 6922
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 2016
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The thesis develops a discourse-theoretical framework for foreign policy analysis and utilises it to account for Germany’s policies in the Iraq crisis of 2002/2003. Germany’s response was deeply contradictory, as it included rhetorical opposition to the war and diplomatic activities aiming at blocking it, but also tacit and indirect cooperation with the United States that made the war possible. Intriguingly, such policies were pursued against the background of an existential and emotional discourse, which portrayed Germany’s very identities as at stake. This intersection of affectivity and contradictoriness presents the research problem of the thesis. To address it, the dissertation revisits the concepts of discourse, subjectivity and foreign policy. Building on poststructuralist and psychoanalytical impulses, it argues that the focus on discursivity should be complemented with a deeper analysis of affect. The subject is reconceptualised as incomplete and split; not only between her different identities, but also between her discursive and affective sides. Foreign policy is then understood as an articulatory practice through which subjects attempt to recapture their identity, a process that is strongly affective and ultimately futile. These arguments are operationalised with the help of three sets of logics: social logics, which capture sedimented aspects of social reality; political logics, which focus on contestation of orders and symbolic reconstruction of political spaces; and the logic of fantasy, which accounts for the subjects’ attachment to sociopolitical orders. After discussing methodological problems, the dissertation turns to the empirical study of Germany’s policies in the Iraq crises, which is structured around the three types of logics. The key conclusion is that Germany’s policymakers operated in a discursively and affectively disordered terrain, in which their own subjectivities were split between different identities, principles and expectations. They were unable to resolve these dilemmas, because, at the same time, multiple of the contradictory identities and policy options were underpinned by strong affective investment, which made it virtually impossible to choose an unequivocal course of action. This inability also functioned as a reminder of the failure to secure a stable and complete identity, further fueling the desire for it that was manifested in the perpetuation of the existential and emotional discourse.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: DD Germany