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The 'Bush Doctrine' as a Hegemonic Discourse Strategy

Mark Rigstad

Oakland University

June 2009

Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy, Vol. 12, No. 3, June 2009

Even if preventive military counter-terrorism may sometimes be ethically justifiable, it remains an open question whether the Bush Doctrine presents a discursively coherent account of the relevant normative conditions. With a view towards answering this question, this article critically examines efforts to ground the morally personifying language of the Bush Doctrine in term of hegemonic stability theory. Particular critical attention is paid to the arguments of leading proponents of this brand of game theory, including J. Yoo, E. Posner, A. Sykes, and J. Goldsmith. When examined in their terms, the Bush Doctine is best understood as an ethically hypocritical and shortsighted international discursive strategy. Its use of moralistic language in demonizing 'rogue states' for purely amoral purposes is normatively incoherent and discursively unsustainable. If it is a strategically rational piece of international communication, it seems designed to undermine globally shared normative meanings for the sake of short-term unilateral military advantage.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 35

Keywords: Bush Doctrine, hegemony, game theory, discourse strategy

JEL Classification: N40

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Date posted: December 19, 2008  

Suggested Citation

Rigstad, Mark, The 'Bush Doctrine' as a Hegemonic Discourse Strategy (June 2009). Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy, Vol. 12, No. 3, June 2009. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1317623

Contact Information

Mark Rigstad (Contact Author)
Oakland University ( email )
Rochester, MI 48309-4401
United States
HOME PAGE: http://www.JustWarTheory.com
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