Fighting "the Evil Scourge of Terrorism": From 'Jewish Terrorism' to 'Islamic Terrorism' in the United States, 1940-2017

DSpace Repository

Show simple item record

dc.contributor.advisor Butter, Michael (Prof. Dr.) Brunck, Annika Carolin 2019-11-08T13:49:42Z 2019-11-08T13:49:42Z 2019-11-08
dc.identifier.other 1681529416 de_DE
dc.identifier.uri de_DE
dc.description.abstract This dissertation investigates how four central discursive agents – the U.S. government, academia, news journalism, and cultural productions – framed and conceptualized ‘terrorism’ from the 1940s onward. It shows how these four agents influenced each other, gradually spreading an understanding of ‘terrorism’ as a serious threat to national security further into American mainstream society. Beginning in the 1940s, the dissertation demonstrates that earlier conceptualizations of ‘terrorism’ understood the perpetrators as inherently rational actors with a clear political agenda and framed it as one minor aspect in larger issues of revolutions, rebellions, and guerrilla warfare. The project then investigates how the marginal status of ‘terrorism’ slowly changed in the 1970s when several high-profile incidents were increasingly understood as acts of ‘terrorism’ instead of, e.g., air piracy or simply hostage taking. In contrast to previous conceptualizations, the term also acquired an inherently negative connotation. From the 1980s onward, ‘terrorism’ dominated the political scene as various administrations vowed to fight it through war. Perpetrators were also increasingly identified based on ethnic and religious affiliation while references to political grievances decreased in importance. The dissertation then shows how framings of 9/11 and the ensuing ‘War on Terror’ as ‘Islamic terrorism’ targeting the United States for its superior democratic values were the result of a particular conceptualization of ‘terrorism’ which focused on Islam as an explanation for violence and postulated that ‘terrorism’ could only be fought through war. Another relevant finding of the project is that the Middle East, both the geographical region and the way it is imagined in American culture and politics, is central to notions about ‘terrorism’ in the United States. Negotiations of what ‘terrorism’ means at a particular point in time and to whom and why play out against the backdrop of American relations to the Middle East. Hence, while early framings of the issue focused on Jewish groups active in Palestine (and, eventually, Israel), in later years, analyses of ‘terrorism’ overwhelmingly focused on Arab groups and, more recently, Islamic perpetrators as main ‘terrorist’ threats – a construction which has only become cemented since the attacks of September 11, 2001. The dissertation thus also charts American engagement in the Middle East as a region which seemingly produced ‘terrorism’ against the United States while also analyzing how these ideas about ‘terrorism’ constructed the Middle East in the American cultural imaginary in return. en
dc.language.iso en de_DE
dc.publisher Universität Tübingen de_DE
dc.rights ubt-podok de_DE
dc.rights.uri de_DE
dc.rights.uri en
dc.subject.classification Diskursanalyse , Diskurs , Amerika , Terrorismus , Mittlerer Osten , Islam , Araber de_DE
dc.subject.ddc 320 de_DE
dc.subject.ddc 420 de_DE
dc.subject.ddc 800 de_DE
dc.subject.ddc 810 de_DE
dc.subject.ddc 900 de_DE
dc.title Fighting "the Evil Scourge of Terrorism": From 'Jewish Terrorism' to 'Islamic Terrorism' in the United States, 1940-2017 en
dc.type PhDThesis de_DE
dcterms.dateAccepted 2019-09-23
utue.publikation.fachbereich Anglistik, Amerikanistik de_DE
utue.publikation.fakultaet 5 Philosophische Fakultät de_DE


This item appears in the following Collection(s)

Show simple item record