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Title: An exploration of constructions of racial and national identities in US and EU climate security discourses
Author: Telford, Andrew Jonathan
ISNI:       0000 0004 6350 5444
Awarding Body: Durham University
Current Institution: Durham University
Date of Award: 2017
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Grounded in a methodology of critical discourse analysis and semi-structured interviews, this thesis investigates constructions of racial and national identities in US and EU climate security discourses. Utilizing a theoretical framework based on ‘essentializing logics’ (a concept developed to analyze how naturalized assumptions and associations about populations are held in relation to possible climate-insecure futures), the thesis argues that intersectional racial and national identities are constructed in context-specific moments of US and EU climate security discourses and are underpinned by multiple biopolitics of unequally valued lives. This argument is elaborated in three empirical chapters. First, the thesis examines the racialization of ‘Muslim’ and ‘African’ climate-induced migrant populations in particular, situated moments of climate security discourse. The second empirical chapter focuses on discursive representations of interconnections between climate change and terrorism and how such interconnections represent important points of intersection for racial and national identities in climate security. The final empirical chapter examines representations of American nationhood in US climate security discourse. These include constructions of American exceptionalism, the impacts of Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Sandy for conceptions of American national identity, and the development of ‘climate-resilient’ American nationhood. The thesis concludes by reflecting on the project’s findings. I argue that multi-scalar interpretations of environmental justice (grounded in a manifesto for ‘abundant futures’ (Collard et al (2015)) and Koopman’s (2011) feminist ‘alter-geopolitics’) could provide a tentative means through which to think about more just, situated environmental securities.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available