Browsing by Subject "uuskonservatismi"

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  • O'Connor, James (2006)
    Yhdysvaltojen ns. 'sota terrorismia vastaan' on tuonut uuskonservatismille paljon julkisuutta. Tästä huolimatta uuskonservatismia ja Yhdysvaltojen nationalismia laajemmin käsitteleviä tutkimuksia on edelleen vähän. Tämän tutkimuksen tarkoituksena on analysoida identiteettien rooleja Yhdysvaltojen ulkopolitiikassa. Tutkimus luo uuden mallin monensuuntaisista identifikaatio-prosesseista. Ensinnäkin kansallinen identiteetti muodostuu kollektiivisina pidetyistä käsityksistä kansan olemuksesta. Toisaalta, merkittävä ja toistuva piirre Yhdysvaltojen kansallisen identiteetin muodostumisessa on 'vihollisten', 'liittolaisten' ja 'pahojen voimien' vastakkaiset identiteetit, joilla omaa 'puhdasta' identiteettiä korostetaan. Nämä vastakkaiset ja ristiriitaiset prosessit ovat vahvasti esillä Yhdysvaltojen uuskonservatismin kentällä. Tutkimuksessa kehitetty identifikaatio-prosessien malli perustuu Carl Schmittin poliittisiin teorioihin. Schmitt on tunnettu poikkeustila-teoriastaan. Hänen ajattelussaan vastakkainasettelu ja vihollisen läsnäolo korostuvat. Sekä Schmittin että uuskonservatiivien teksteissä korostuu kaksi periaatteellista teemaa, poikkeavuus ja erottautuminen. Nämä teemat nousivat keskeisiksi tekemässäni retorisessa analyysissä, tutkimuksen empiirisessa osassa. Analysoin yhden yhdysvaltalaisen ns. think tankin julkaisemia kirjoituksia ja julkaisuja terrorismin vastaisesta sodasta. Analyysi perustuu Jacques Derridalta ja etenkin Kenneth Burkelta saatuihin vaikutteisiin. Yksi tutkimuksen tuloksista on se, että jatkuva identiteettien vastakkainasettelu lisää konfliktin riskiä joka tasolla. Johtopäätöksenä voidaan sanoa, että sellaiset identiteetti-diskurssit, jotka löytyvät Schmittin ja uuskonservatiivien kirjoituksista, edistävät poissulkevia ja taistelevia poliittisia linjoja erityisesti ulkopolitiikassa. Mitä pidemmälle ulkopoliittiset asenteet kehittyvät tähän suuntaan, sitä vähemmän sovinnollisemmat ja rakentavammat argumentit pääsevät esiin.
  • Cantell, Mikko (2007)
    The weight of neoconservative ideology in world politics is generally identified and acknowledged. In spite of this more profound studies are found wanting. I attempt to make the ideology more understandable and approach it from a distinct point of view, examining neoconservatism's attitude to torture in the United States' 'Global War on Terror'. In so doing, my aim is also to clarify the thus far somewhat vague distinction between the current U.S. administration and neoconservatism in political and academic writing. I have utilized the theory of cognitive dissonance created by Leon Festinger to study the mechanisms in play concerning the different attitudes toward the use of torture. The theory has so far found very few applications in the study of international relations, but I believe there to be significant potential in its future use. On a more concrete level, I undertake to examine whether the core values of neoconservatism (human rights, liberal democracy, 'American values' and 'moral use of power') on the one hand, and condoning attitudes toward the use of torture on the other, give rise to an intolerable inner conflict that could be called cognitive dissonance. The use of torture is absolutely prohibited in international law, standards and norms. The most central internationally binding legal obligation prohibiting the use of torture is the Convention against Torture from 1984. The convention prohibits the use of torture in all cases and without exception. My study examines the question of torture in the context of the 'War on Terror' and the relation of torture to the individual. The individual rises in fact to be one of the most salient levels of analysis in the paper: each of neoconservatism's core values can be said to be based on defending the rights of the individual while torture can simultaneously be defined as being the ultimate denial of the individual worth and dignity. I conclude my study by asserting that neoconservatism's attitude toward torture has led to severe conflicts with its own core values. Although accurate definitions of the mechanisms used in alleviating the dissonance are impossible to find, the study gives evidence indicating that denial of responsibility and a rearranging of the hierarchy of internal values can have been included in the reduction of dissonance. I consider the notion that attempts to reduce dissonance typically 'spill over' to other seemingly unattached areas of decision-making very important. This means that in addition to core values or the fundamental level of ideology, past decisions also influence future decisions.
  • Koskenniemi, Tuomas (Helsingfors universitet, 2010)
    In this thesis I examine the U.S. foreign policy discussion that followed the war between Russia and Georgia in August 2008. In the politically charged setting that preceded the presidential elections, the subject of the debate was not only Washingtons response to the crisis in the Caucasus but, more generally, the direction of U.S. foreign policy after the presidency of George W. Bush. As of November 2010, the reasons for and consequences of the Russia-Georgia war continue to be contested. My thesis demonstrates that there were already a number of different stories about the conflict immediately after the outbreak of hostilities. I want to argue that among these stories one can discern a 'neoconservative narrative' that described the war as a confrontation between the East and the West and considered it as a test for Washington’s global leadership. I draw on the theory of securitization, particularly on a framework introduced by Holger Stritzel. Accordingly, I consider statements about the conflict as 'threat texts' and analyze these based on the existing discursive context, the performative force of the threat texts and the positional power of the actors presenting them. My thesis suggests that a notion of narrativity can complement Stritzel’s securitization framework and take it further. Threat texts are established as narratives by attaching causal connections, meaning and actorship to the discourse. By focusing on this process I want to shed light on the relationship between the text and the context, capture the time dimension of a speech act articulation and help to explain how some interpretations of the conflict are privileged and others marginalized. I develop the theoretical discussion through an empirical analysis of the neoconservative narrative. Drawing on Stritzel’s framework, I argue that the internal logic of the narrative which was presented as self-evident can be analyzed in its historicity. Asking what was perceived to be at stake in the conflict, how the narrative was formed and what purposes it served also reveals the possibility for alternative explanations. My main source material consists of transcripts of think tank seminars organized in Washington, D.C. in August 2008. In addition, I resort to the foreign policy discussion in the mainstream media.
  • Vehkasalo, Veera Kaisa (Helsingfors universitet, 2011)
    In this thesis I study the Neo-Eurasianist movement in Russia and the ways the activists of the movement construct Eurasia as a unified entity and an empire. The central research questions of this work are: What is the empire and what are its central motivations and themes? How is the idea of empire constructed or understood, and how can this be interpreted? What could be seen to be the effects of their ways of imagining Eurasia? My material consists of interviews that were collected during the spring of 2008, and written materials produced by the movement (various printed publications and internet sites). By the Neo-Eurasianist movement I here mean the activists of the International Eurasianist Movement (Meždunarodnoe Evrazijskoe Dviženie) and its youth section the Eurasian Youth Union (Evrazijskij Sojuz Molodëži). The movement has been officially founded in 2003, but it draws a strong historical continuity from a movement in the 1930s called classic Eurasianism. Apart from this its discourse has a lot of on Soviet, fascist, neo-conservative and nationalist characteristics, among others. Its leader is the philosopher-geopolitician Alexander Dugin. In the background to this work I am interested in the ways the so called intelligentsia or intellectuals affect nationalism, or discourses that define the change and development of social groups. I look at my material from a discourse analytical point of view. I see discourse analysis as the research of the ways of producing social reality in different social practices. At the same the research of these discourses, following a Foucauldian tradition, critically examines the (actualized or potential) power relations that they produce. I also use the concept of 'imagined communities' of Benedict Anderson, which contributes to understanding the way my subjects build the empire as a community. In the speech of the activists the empire (imperiâ) comes out mostly as a positive thing, and as 'their own,' whereas the term imperialism (imperialism) mostly has a negative connotation, and is related to the main enemy, the USA. I separate the various themes that arise in to five main themes. Out of these I examine more closely the theme of empire as the benefactor of all peoples (political side), the source of external power (historical-geopolitical side) and as the creator of the collective subject (imperial-nationalist side). Throughout the work I try to contextualize the discourse and examine the ways it draws motives also from the historical-cultural ways of perceiving the area and its inhabitants. I also discuss the concepts of people, nation, ethnos and nationalism and how they are used in the Neo-Eurasianist discourse. The concept of imperial nationalism (imperskij nacionalizm) helps in understanding the ways the movement is trying to distance itself from nationalism and at the same time use some of the basic themes of the nationalist discourse. One of the main differences to the so called mainstream of nationalism is that the word 'nation (naciâ)' has a strong negative connotation. In opposition to nation, the concept of people (narod) is highlighted. However, at the same time the concept russkij (more an ethnic Russia) is used in a wider and more all-encompassing way than usually, and first and foremost Russia is the main referent of the empire. Of the positive images attached to the Eurasian empire, I look more closely in to the idea of multinationalism and the empire as the house of peoples, which I see to be a considerable rhetoric theme in all the material. Closely related to this there is also the 'liberating' role of empire, which I see as a branch of the same discussion. I interpret that their empire -discourse has an instrumentalist character: it legitimizes Russian claims to influence especially over the area of the former Soviet Union. The 'Eurasian people' works as a possible unifying factor instead of the 'Soviet people' for Eurasia. On the basis of my material I interpret that on the background of this 'people' is Russia and Russian -specific claims more than others. I also shortly discuss the reasons for the criticism of nation in Russia and the suitability of the term to Russia, and the stratification of concepts of Russianness. All in all, the empire is presented as an abstract, utopian and a 'total' entity.