research product . 2013

WISE - A Discourse Analysis of UAV use

Dahler-Larsen, Toke; Bøgelund, Ulrik André;
Open Access English
  • Published: 01 Jan 2013
  • Country: Denmark
In this project, we discuss the phenomenon of UAV warfare. By conducting a discourse analysis of two speeches, one conducted by then counterterrorism advisor John Brennan and one by President Barack Obama, we investigate how UAV use is justified. We briefly discuss the historical background and contemporary public opinion in order to contextualize the discourse presented in the two speeches. The discourse analysis is structured in three analytical categories: how are representations of identity are articulated, how the speakers make claims about the future and finally the specific nature of the justifications of UAV use. Finally, we discuss how our empirical findings relate to the discussion of the changing nature of warfare, as well as we present a brief critique of a position in the current UAV debate. Our main argument in this discussion is that UAVs should be discussed within the social, discursive practice they are used, and not regarded merely as technological objects distinct from the context they exist in.
free text keywords: John Brennan, Diskurs, Sikkerhedspolitik, Terrorism, Intelligence, International Relation, Anwar Al-Awlaki, Policy speech, Risk theory, War, UAV, Just War, Warfare, History, Barack Obama, Foreign Policy, Discourse, Counterterrorism, Security Policy, CIA, Risk society, Identity, Post structualism, Drones
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