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Culture, Crisis and America's War on Terror

$41.99 (P)

  • Date Published: October 2006
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521687331

$ 41.99 (P)
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About the Authors
  • Since the infamous events of 9/11, the fear of terrorism and the determination to strike back against it has become a topic of enormous public debate. The 'war on terror' discourse has developed not only through American politics but via other channels including the media, the church, music, novels, films and television, and therefore permeates many aspects of American life. Stuart Croft suggests that the process of this production of knowledge has created a very particular form of common sense which shapes relationships, jokes and even forms of tattoos. Understanding how a social process of crisis can be mapped out and how that process creates assumptions allows policy-making in America's war on terror to be examined from new perspectives. Using IR approaches together with insights from cultural studies, this book develops a dynamic model of crisis which seeks to understand the war on terror as a cultural phenomenon.

    • Provides a detailed critique by identifying where ideas came from and where contradictions lie
    • Examines sources such as television programmes, news media, film, images, cartoons, jokes and tattoos
    • Creates a new 'model' of how to understand crises and their aftermath as a social rather than objective phenomena
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    Reviews & endorsements

    "Stuart Croft has admirably addressed how the “objective” military threats, like other social phenomena, are the product of a reality-constructing social dialogue. He looks at the discourse after 9/11 and how the reality of the attack was interpreted and integrated into the national policies in response. This work impressively argues for a more nuanced understanding of how culture and events intertwine to create the crisis attributes and its future paths, weaving the national discourse between the preferences of political leaders and other cultural players and drivers. The volume is an essential read for those who want to understand the emergence, construction, and evolution of national security policies in the US and elsewhere. It is particularly critical for those who wish to understand how this discourse will affect future American decisions in global anti-terrorism operations and campaigns." Professor Chris C. Demchak, University of Arizona

    "Stuart Croft offers here a brilliant discussion of America's efforts to narrate, and make sense of, the 9/11 terror attacks. He mines a rich seam of popular and elite discourse, showing how narratives of 9/11 have reflected and reinforced pre-existing American self-images. Croft's lively style and command of his material make this book a joy to read. His study of the telling and re-telling of 9/11 sheds important new light on the policies of the George W. Bush Administration, as well as demonstrating how contemporary international politics and American popular culture are closely intertwined." Professor John Dumbrell, University of Leicester

    "Culture, Crisis and America's War on Terror is simply the most comprehensive and thought-provoking analysis of the political-cultural discourse of the war on terror to date. Combining powerful theoretical insights with an ambitious and sweeping survey of American cultural production since the World Trade Center attacks, Stuart Croft has crafted an eloquent and provocative essay on the relationship between culture, national identity and international politics. His unique focus on the cultural dimensions of the September 11 foundational myth does much to enliven our understanding of contemporary US foreign policy and fills an increasingly important gap in the study of international relations and security studies. This book deserves the widest possible audience." Dr Richard Jackson, Department of Politics, Manchester University and author of Writing the War on Terrorism: Language, Politics and Counterterrorism

    "Tracing the connections between popular culture and political elites, between domestic and foreign policy, and between international crises and political mobilization, Stuart Croft not only illuminates the dynamics of current US foreign policy, but also provides crucial and challenging insights into the relationship between America and the rest of the world. Culture, Crisis and America's War on Terror is an innovative and essential guide to the politics of American foreign policy today." Professor Michael C. Williams, Department of International Politics, University of Wales, Aberystwyth

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    Product details

    • Date Published: October 2006
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521687331
    • length: 310 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 18 mm
    • weight: 0.46kg
    • contains: 13 b/w illus.
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Introduction
    1. Disrupting meaning
    2. Deconstructing the second American 9/11
    3. The decisive intervention
    4. The institutionalisation and stabilisation of the policy programme
    5. Acts of resistance to the 'war on terror'
    6. The discourse strikes back
    7. Conclusion.

  • Author

    Stuart Croft, University of Birmingham
    Stuart Croft is Professor of International Relations in the Department of Political Science and International Studies at the University of Birmingham. He is the author of Security Studies Today (with Terry Terriff, Lucy James and Patrick Morgan, 1999), The Enlargement of Europe (with John Redmond, G. Wyn Rees and Mark Webber, 1999) and Strategies of Arms Control (1996).

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