A call to arms at the end of history: a discourse-historical analysis of George W. Bush's declaration of war on terror

Graham, Phil, Keenan, Thomas and Dowd, Anne- Maree (2004) A call to arms at the end of history: a discourse-historical analysis of George W. Bush's declaration of war on terror. Discourse & Society, 15 2/3: 199-221.

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Author Graham, Phil
Keenan, Thomas
Dowd, Anne- Maree
Title A call to arms at the end of history: a discourse-historical analysis of George W. Bush's declaration of war on terror
Journal name Discourse & Society   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0957-9265
Publication date 2004
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1177/0957926504041017
Volume 15
Issue 2/3
Start page 199
End page 221
Total pages 23
Editor T. A. Van Dijk
Place of publication London
Publisher Sage Publications
Collection year 2004
Language eng
Subject C1
380203 Discourse and Pragmatics
750404 Social ethics
Abstract In this article we take a discourse-historical approach to illustrate the significance of George W Bush's (2001) declaration of a 'war on terror'. We present four exemplary 'call to arms' speeches by Pope Urban 11 (1095), Queen Elizabeth I (1588), Adolf Hitler (1938) and George W Bush (2001) to exemplify the structure, function, and historical significance of such texts in western societies over the last millennium. We identify four generic features that have endured in such texts throughout this period: (i) an appeal to a legitimate power source that is external to the orator, and which is presented as inherently good; (ii) an appeal to the historical importance of the culture in which the discourse is situated; (iii) the construction of a thoroughly evil Other; and (iv) an appeal for unification behind the legitimating external power source. We argue further that such texts typically appear in historical contexts characterized by deep crises in political legitimacy.
Keyword Communication
Psychology, Multidisciplinary
Sociology
Critical Discourse Analysis
Political Discourse
Social Dynamics
Terrorism
Warfare
Q-Index Code C1

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Excellence in Research Australia (ERA) - Collection
2005 Higher Education Research Data Collection
UQ Business School Publications
 
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Created: Wed, 15 Aug 2007, 03:21:53 EST