The 'Bush Doctrine' as a Hegemonic Discourse Strategy
Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy, Vol. 12, No. 3, June 2009
35 Pages Posted: 19 Dec 2008
Date Written: 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.
Keywords: Bush Doctrine, hegemony, game theory, discourse strategy
JEL Classification: N40
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation