Justifying War in an Insecure World: Understanding the Military Spending of the United States and the Discourse Used to Rationalize It

dc.contributor.authorLim-Heley, Seamus
dc.date.accessioned2022-06-29T16:27:18Z
dc.date.available2022-06-29T16:27:18Z
dc.date.copyright2022en_US
dc.date.issued2022-06-29
dc.description.abstractSince the end of the Second World War, the United States has been the world’s leading military spender. The US spends more on its military than the next eleven countries combined, and even as a percentage of its GDP, the US still outspends other economic giants like China. Since democracies operate off a model of agency representation, where policymakers are held accountable to their constituents via elections, US military spending must be justified to a broader public through a variety of narratives. This work asks how the US military budget has been rationalized to the public by prominent figures within the US political system. In doing so, this project necessarily looks at how ‘security,’ more specifically ‘national security,’ has been framed by the state, and the relationship these terms have with the US’ disproportionate military expenditures. By analyzing thirty years of presidential discourse - from the height of US unipolarity at the end of the Cold War through the War on Terror and the rise of Trumpism – this work understands the justifications for US military spending to come through two main camps. The first is an appeal to a ‘military welfare state,’ while the second depicts the US through a notion of American exceptionalism, that hyper-fetishizes an American hero-mythos that relies on establishing military superiority. Both camps, often under the guise of a ‘master security narrative’ that prioritizes attention towards military threats, work to depict the US as a society with the military at its heart.en_US
dc.description.reviewstatusRevieweden_US
dc.description.scholarlevelUndergraduateen_US
dc.description.sponsorshipJamie Cassels Undergraduate Research Awards (JCURA)en_US
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/1828/14002
dc.language.isoenen_US
dc.subjectmilitary spendingen_US
dc.subjectmilitary budgeten_US
dc.subjectdefence spendingen_US
dc.subjectsecurityen_US
dc.subjectwaren_US
dc.subjectwarfareen_US
dc.subjectterrorismen_US
dc.subjectpresidenten_US
dc.subjectdiscourse analysisen_US
dc.subjectCold Waren_US
dc.subjectWar on Terroren_US
dc.subjectCOVID-19en_US
dc.subjectmacrosecuritizationen_US
dc.subjectpresidential debateen_US
dc.subjectClintonen_US
dc.subjectBushen_US
dc.subjectObamaen_US
dc.subjectTrumpen_US
dc.subjectBidenen_US
dc.titleJustifying War in an Insecure World: Understanding the Military Spending of the United States and the Discourse Used to Rationalize Iten_US
dc.typePosteren_US

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