National Missile Defense and the Politics of US Identity: A Postcultural Critique

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9780719074707: National Missile Defense and the Politics of US Identity: A Postcultural Critique
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Why adopt a poststructural perspective when reading about the military strategy of national missile defence (NMD)? Certainly, when considering how best to defend the U.S. against attack by intercontinental ballistic missiles, the value of critical international relations theory may be easy to overlook. So, how might the insight of scholars such as Michel Foucault contribute to our understanding of the decision-making processes behind NMD policy?  The deployment of national missile defence (NMD) is a sensitive political issue. Official justification for the significance of the NMD system is based upon strategic feasibility studies and conventional threat predictions guided by worst-case scenarios. However, this approach fails to address three key issues: the ambiguous and uncertain nature of the threat to which NMD responds; controversy over technological feasibility; and concern about cost. So, in light of these issues, why does NMD continue to stimulate such considerable interest and secure ongoing investment?  Presented as an analysis of discourses on threats to national security -- around which the need for NMD deployment is predominately framed -- this book argues that the preferences underlying NMD deployment are driven by considerations beyond the scope of strategic approaches and issues. The conventional wisdom supporting NMD is contested using interpretive modes of inquiry provided by critical social theory and poststructuralism, and it is suggested that NMD strategy should be viewed in the context of U.S. national identity. This book seeks to establish a dialogue between the fields of critical international relations theory and U.S. foreign policy, by illustrating how the concept of national identity can be used to interpret contemporary military-strategic practice.

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About the Author:

Natalie Bormann currently teaches in the Department of Politics, Northeastern University, Boston. Prior to this, she was Visiting Assistant Professor at the Watson Institute for International Studies, Brown University.

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Book Description MANCHESTER UNIVERSITY PRESS, United Kingdom, 2008. Hardback. Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Why adopt a poststructural lens for the reading of the military strategy of national missile defence (NMD)? No doubt, when contemplating an attack on US territory by intercontinental ballistic missiles, consulting Michel Foucault and critical international relations theory scholars may not seem the obvious route to take. The answer to this lies in another question: why has there been so much interest and continuous investment in NMD deployment when there is such ambiguity surrounding the status of threat to which it responds, controversy over its technological feasibility and concern about its cost? Posed in this manner, the question cannot be answered on its own terms - the terms given in official accounts of NMD that justify the system s significance on the basis of strategic feasibility studies and conventional threat predictions guided by worst-case scenarios. Instead, this book argues that the preferences leading to NMD deployment must be understood as satisfying requirements beyond strategic approaches and issues. In turning towards the interpretative modes of inquiry provided by critical social theory and poststructuralism, this book contests the conventional wisdom about NMD and suggests reading the strategy in terms of US identity. Presented as an analysis of discourses on threats to national security, around which the need for NMD deployment is predominantly framed, this book is an effort to let the two fields of critical international relations theory and US foreign policy speak directly to each other. It seeks to do so by showing how the concept of identity can be harnessed to an analysis of a contemporary military-strategic practice. -- . Seller Inventory # AAR9780719074707

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Book Description MANCHESTER UNIVERSITY PRESS, United Kingdom, 2008. Hardback. Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Why adopt a poststructural lens for the reading of the military strategy of national missile defence (NMD)? No doubt, when contemplating an attack on US territory by intercontinental ballistic missiles, consulting Michel Foucault and critical international relations theory scholars may not seem the obvious route to take. The answer to this lies in another question: why has there been so much interest and continuous investment in NMD deployment when there is such ambiguity surrounding the status of threat to which it responds, controversy over its technological feasibility and concern about its cost? Posed in this manner, the question cannot be answered on its own terms - the terms given in official accounts of NMD that justify the system s significance on the basis of strategic feasibility studies and conventional threat predictions guided by worst-case scenarios. Instead, this book argues that the preferences leading to NMD deployment must be understood as satisfying requirements beyond strategic approaches and issues. In turning towards the interpretative modes of inquiry provided by critical social theory and poststructuralism, this book contests the conventional wisdom about NMD and suggests reading the strategy in terms of US identity. Presented as an analysis of discourses on threats to national security, around which the need for NMD deployment is predominantly framed, this book is an effort to let the two fields of critical international relations theory and US foreign policy speak directly to each other. It seeks to do so by showing how the concept of identity can be harnessed to an analysis of a contemporary military-strategic practice. -- . Seller Inventory # AAR9780719074707

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