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Mapping the Competing Historical Analogies of the War on Terrorism: The Bush Presidency
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Peace and Conflict Research.
2011 (English)In: International Relations, ISSN 0047-1178, E-ISSN 1741-2862, Vol. 25, no 2, 224-242 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This article maps the historical analogies of the war on terrorism used by the Bush administration. It identifies four historical analogies of the war on terrorism present in the US political and academic discourse since the attacks on 11 September 2001. These are the war on terrorism as: (a) the Second World War; (b) the Crusades; (c) the Vietnam War; and (d) the Cold War. These analogies have been a constant presence in the US discourse, although the analogy with the Crusades has been more prominent in the academic discourse than in the political. There is, moreover, no conclusive pattern of when and how these analogies have been used, suggesting that we cannot use them to evaluate how well the war on terrorism is progressing. This also indicates that the Bush administration, with one exception, was not successful in framing the policy agenda in a certain direction regarding the war on terrorism. Understanding the war on terrorism as a new Cold War, for example, still implies different policy measures such as roll-back and containment.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2011. Vol. 25, no 2, 224-242 p.
Keyword [en]
Cold War, Crusades, foreign policy decision-making, Pearl Harbor, terrorism, Vietnam War, war
National Category
Social Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-156109DOI: 10.1177/0047117811404448ISI: 000291930400009OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-156109DiVA: diva2:430539
Available from: 2011-07-11 Created: 2011-07-11 Last updated: 2011-07-11Bibliographically approved

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