American Exceptionalism: A discursive tool to justify foreign policy?

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American Exceptionalism: A discursive tool to justify foreign policy?

Type: Bachelor thesis
Title: American Exceptionalism: A discursive tool to justify foreign policy?
Author: Kortmann, Florianne
Issue Date: 2017
Keywords: American Exceptionalism
National Identity
State Fantasy
Civic Culture
Myth
US Foreign Policy
War on Terror
9/11
Abstract: This thesis argues that the invasion of Iraq in 2003 as part of the War on Terror declared by President Bush in the aftermath of 9/11 can be seen in the light of American Exceptionalism. American Exceptionalism has actively been used as a discursive tool to justify US foreign intervention in the past. By looking at the historical context of American Exceptionalism one will see how American Exceptionalism originated, how it was adapted and how it was often manipulated by prominent figures in a way that served national interests throughout time. Myths and illusions surrounding American Exceptionalism were created which became part of a discourse that shaped and strengthened US national identity over the centuries. However, in the aftermath of 9/11, these pre-existing beliefs were shattered and a national identity crisis followed. Nonetheless, President Bush managed to once again accommodate and reaffirm the pre-existing national truths and to simultaneously reshape and reform them in a way that made American Exceptionalism become a state fantasy. The discourse surrounding this state fantasy became an important tool for President Bush to justify the US invasion of Iraq in 2003.
Supervisor: Fynn, Jennifer
Faculty: Faculty of Humanities
Department: International Studies (Bachelor)
Specialisation: North America
ECTS Credits: 15
Handle: http://hdl.handle.net/1887/48564
 

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