When Ideologies Became Dangerous: An analysis of the transformation of the relationship between security and oppositional ideologies in US Presidential Discourse

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Abstract

This article investigates, by means of computer-assisted qualitative and quantitative discourse analysis, how and when ideology was securitized in US presidential speech. It reveals how securitizing speech justifies methods and targets in the resistance of “dangerous ideologies” that are problematic for democracies. The analysis reveals that the entanglement of oppositional ideologies with security was articulated in the context of the War on Terror. While the original need to see ideologies as an existential threat was necessary to justify the exclusion of the ideologies of the Taliban and Saddam Hussein from the elections in Afghanistan and Iraq in 2004 and 2005 respectively, the securitization of ideologies then spread to issue areas beyond terror and to geographic contexts outside of these two countries, all the way to US domestic political competition. The need to avoid embarrassment in Iraq and Afghanistan may have thus affected US democracy.

Original languageEnglish
JournalGlobal Society
Early online date19 Apr 2022
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 19 Apr 2022

Keywords

  • Securitisation
  • democracy
  • ideologies
  • open society
  • popular sovereignty
  • terrorism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Global and Planetary Change
  • Geography, Planning and Development

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