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Enemy Addiction

Outsider Threats, Security Frames, and Target Audiences in Contemporary US Security Policy

Perceptions of insecurity are a key source of violent conflict and international instability. This project investigates the US preoccupation with security threats after the Cold War ended, and how the discursive redefinition of the post-Cold War landscape in terms of danger and uncertainty has locked the US into perpetuating expensive security practices - even in times of severe economic crisis.

 

Project Aims


The project aims to understand - through the lens of policy language - how perceptions of insecurity are created and maintained, and how depictions of enmity based on a dualistic conceptions of 'us' versus 'them' fosters distrust, conflict, and the use of military force. It has three core objectives

  1. Communicating outside a narrow academic community the importance of how political agents 'speak' security
  2. Move the study of discourse in International Security toward problem-driven multidisciplinary research designs
  3. Engage end-users as co-producers of knowledge on the societal implications of security policy language

Public Engagement


Engagement with non-academic audiences for 'Enemy additiction' takes place under the umbrella brand SISAW (Speaking International Security at Warwick) that is linked to this project. It has three core components:

(1) Bringing International Security to the Classroom
(2) Journalists as Co-Producers of Knowledge
(3) Engaging the Wider Public

For more information: Go to www.warwick.ac.uk/sisaw or click here.
To get involved: Please email SISAW@warwick.ac.uk or a.homolar@warwick.ac.uk
 

Presentations (selection)


  • 09/2017 ‘The Impact of Trump-Speak on US Foreign Policy’. ECPR General Conference, Oslo, 06-09 September.
  • 06-07/2017 ‘Uncertainty, Security Narratives, and Ontological (In)Security’. Annual Meeting of the International Society for Political Psychology, Edinburg, 29 June – 2 July.
  • 02/2017 ‘How Global Performance Indicators Changed Transparency Norms in World Politics’ [with André Broome]. Annual Convention of the International Studies Association (ISA), Baltimore, 22-25 February.
  • 11/2016 ‘Talking Terrorism: A Narrative Approach to the Study of Political Violence’ (with Pablo Rodriguez-Merino). ISAC-ISSS Joint Annual Conference on Security Studies, Notre Dame University 4-6 November.
  • 06/2016 ‘Turn, Turn, Turn in IR Theory: Practice, Performativity, and Emotion as Pathways to Inclusiveness?’. ISA-CEEISA Joint Conference, Ljubljana, 23-25 June.
  • 09/2015 ‘Dividing the World: Hero - Villain Security Narratives as Policy Drivers in International Security’. BISA US Foreign Policy Working Group annual conference, London City University, 14-15 September.
  • 09/2015 ‘Resilient Defenses: Persistent Myths about US Military Budgets’. BISA US Foreign Policy Working Group annual conference, London City University, 14-15 September. [Special Guest Discussant: Jeffrey Taliaferro (Tufts University)
  • 08/2015 ‘Framing Enemies after Obama: The Enduring Patterns of US Presidential Security Rhetoric’. ECPR General Conference, Université de Montréal, 26-29 August.
  • 07/2015 ‘Discursive Authority: Language as Leverage in Security Policymaking Processes’. Annual Meeting of the International Society for Political Psychology, San Diego, 3-6 July.
  • 06/2015. 'Human Security Benchmarks: Governing Human Wellbeing at a Distance'. Review of International Studies-sponsored panel on 'Global Benchmarking', BISA 40th Anniversary Conference, London, June 16-19.
  • 05/2015. 'Is Economic Security Bunk?'. New Directions in International Political Economy - CSGR Warwick 50th Anniversary Conference, University of Warwick, 13-15 May.
  • 02/2015. ‘Turn, Turn, Turn in IR Theory: Practice, Performativity, and Emotion as Pathways to Inclusiveness?’. Annual Convention of the International Studies Association (ISA), New Orleans, 18-22 February.
  • 01/2015. 'The Discourse of Human Security'. Roundtable: From Human Security to R2P, University of Warwick, 7 January.
  • 11/2014. ‘Resilient Defenses: Three Persistent Myths about US Military Budgets’. ISAC-ISSS Joint Annual Conference on Security Studies, University of Texas, Austin, 14-16 November.
  • 11/2014. ‘Uncertainty in International Security’. ISAC-ISSS Joint Annual Conference on Security Studies, University of Texas, Austin, 14-16 November.
  • 09/2014. ‘Discursive Authority: Language as Leverage in US Security Policymaking’. BISA US Foreign Policy Working Group annual conference, London School of Economics, 17-19 September.
  • 04/2014. ‘Narratives of Enmity
. The Power of Words in US Security Policy’. British Association for American Studies (BAAS) annual conference, University of Birmingham, 10-13 April.

ESRC logo

PI: Dr Alexandra Homolar

ESRC Reference: ES/K008684/1

Duration: 12/2013-06/2017

Amount Awarded: £238,640

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