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Title: Decade of disarray : Hollywood allegories of U.S. foreign policy, 1999-2009
Author: Cobb, Thomas
ISNI:       0000 0004 7432 5086
Awarding Body: University of Birmingham
Current Institution: University of Birmingham
Date of Award: 2018
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This thesis explores how a series of Hollywood films allegorised the contradictions of American foreign policy between 1999 and 2009. These contradictions are underlined in pictures that use military intervention as a subtext. My argument considers the role of allegory in an array of genres, including war pictures, Westerns, and comic book adaptations. The case studies I analyse allegorise a bipartisan consensus surrounding military intervention. I postulate that this consensus was crystallised in the Kosovo War of 1999 and later became apotheosised in the 2003 Iraq War. I contend that, in pictures as diverse as There Will be Blood (2007) and The Dark Knight (2008), political allegory critiques the bipartisan allure of both neoconservatism and liberal interventionism’s promises of exporting American democracy. Moreover, these narratives examine the ideas of International Relations theorists as diverse as Walter Mead, Walter McDougall, and Joseph Nye. The theories propounded by these authors become embodied in different characterisations, leading to storylines that connote ideological friction and philosophical inconsistency. Consequently, Hollywood cinema during this period highlights a contradiction in American foreign policy, a theme that is further encoded in narrative elements that focus on the strained politics of coalition building and winning hearts and minds.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: JK Political institutions (United States) ; PN1993 Motion Pictures