Selling the War on Terror: Foreign Policy Discourses after 9/11, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Selling the War on Terror

Foreign Policy Discourses after 9/11, 1st Edition

By Jack Holland


248 pages

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Paperback: 9781138797468
pub: 2014-05-30
Hardback: 9780415519755
pub: 2012-08-23
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pub: 2012-09-10
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This book uses a comparative analysis to examine foreign policy discourses and the dynamics of the ‘War on Terror'.

The book considers the three principal members of the Coalition of the Willing in Afghanistan and Iraq: the United States, Britain and Australia. Despite significant cultural, historical and political overlap, the War on Terror was nevertheless rendered possible in these contexts in distinct ways, drawing on different discourses and narratives of foreign policy and identity.

This volume explores these differences and their origins, arguing that they have important implications for the way we understand foreign policy and political possibility. The author rejects prevalent interpretations of a War on Terror foreign policy discourse, in the singular, highlighting that coalition states both demonstrated and relied upon divergent policy framings to make the War on Terror possible. The book thus contributes to our understanding of political possibility, in the process correcting a tendency to view the War on Terror as a universal and monolithic political discourse.

This book will be of much interest to students of foreign policy, critical security studies, terrorism studies, discourse analysis, and IR in general.


"The book is essential for students of international relations, politics, terrorism and security studies, and for anybody wishing to gain a broader understanding of the rhetoric, truths, and discourses that constructed, and continue to construct, the War on Terror. By constructing replacement discourses, Holland provides a new and intriguing space for perceiving and realising the persistent War on Terror." - James Hume, Macquarie University, Australia

Table of Contents

Introduction 1. Language and Legitimacy: Foreign Policy as Culturally Embedded Discourse 2. Agency, Audience and Alternative: Foreign Policy and Political Possibility 3. Before 9/11 4. From Void to Crisis: From September 11th 2001 to 9/11 5. Response: Afghanistan 6. Translation: Iraq Conclusion

About the Author

Jack Holland is Lecturer in International Relations in the Department of Politics at the University of Surrey, and has a PhD in International Relations from the University of Warwick.

About the Series

Routledge Critical Terrorism Studies

This book series will publish rigorous and innovative studies on all aspects of terrorism, counter-terrorism and state terror. It seeks to advance a new generation of thinking on traditional subjects, investigate topics frequently overlooked in orthodox accounts of terrorism and to apply knowledge from disciplines beyond International Relations and Security Studies. Books in this series will typically adopt approaches informed by critical-normative theory, post-positivist methodologies and non-Western perspectives, as well as rigorous and reflective orthodox terrorism studies.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / Military / General
POLITICAL SCIENCE / International Relations / General
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Political Freedom & Security / General
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Political Freedom & Security / Terrorism