Ballistic missile defense and articulation theory
An analysis of technology using a cultural studies approach
In this paper, I use articulation theory to examine the political discourse which surrounds the Bush Administrations proposed ballistic missile defense shield. I argue that there are three central articulations used by the Bush Administration to garner public support for the ballistic missile defense shield. They are: 1) the articulation of missile defense with national security; 2) the unity formed out of terrorism and the threat of a missile attack by rogue states; and 3) the articulation of missile defense with technological inevitability and progress. I illustrate how these dominant articulations discursively serve to garner support for the proposed shield by setting the parameters around which discussions of missile defense can take place. My primary argument is that the discursive unities made by the Bush Administration out of such elements as terrorism, technology, progress, and capitalism functions to perpetuate and justify a larger American project of exceptionalism, unilateralism, and military hegemony.
Keywords: Missile defense, terrorism, cultural studies, articulation theory, Bush administration
Published online: 26 May 2008
Cited by 6 other publications
Kinsella, William J.
Loke, Jaime, Dustin Harp & Ingrid Bachmann
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