Advanced

Vulnerability and nationalism: The support for the war against Iraq in five established states

Becker, Per LU (2003)
Abstract (Swedish)
Popular Abstract in English

This dissertation attempts to answer the question of why the 2003 armed conflict against Iraq received such varied support within the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, France and Spain. This is achieved by introducing a model in which the support for armed conflict is connected to elite persuasion operating in particular contexts. This model is tested in a comparative study, using international opinion polls, official policy statements, newspapers and information on past terrorist attacks. It would be reckless to claim to have a clear and simple answer to the research question after such a limited study, but the results do supply an interesting framework for further research.... (More)
Popular Abstract in English

This dissertation attempts to answer the question of why the 2003 armed conflict against Iraq received such varied support within the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, France and Spain. This is achieved by introducing a model in which the support for armed conflict is connected to elite persuasion operating in particular contexts. This model is tested in a comparative study, using international opinion polls, official policy statements, newspapers and information on past terrorist attacks. It would be reckless to claim to have a clear and simple answer to the research question after such a limited study, but the results do supply an interesting framework for further research.

The main function of nationalism is shaping and maintaining national identity so as to promote popular loyalty to the state. In order to mobilise substantial support for the policies regarding an armed conflict the justifications for it must be endorsed in the national identity of that particular state. If not, either the justifications or national identity has to be modified. It is therefore not only the initial definition of the particular national identity that is important, but also how this could be amended. The dominant elite appears to be essential to this process, as does the public experience of vulnerability. A recent attack by international terrorism with severe consequences, which a large part of the targeted population can relate to, appears to supply an opportunity for moulding national identity at that time, as well as in the near future. It thus appears that the war against Iraq received such varied support within the five chosen states at least in part because the initial definitions of their national identities endorsed the justifications for the war to different degrees, the dominant elites promoted different opinions and the people experienced different degrees of vulnerability. (Less)
Abstract
This dissertation attempts to answer the question of why the 2003 armed conflict against Iraq received such varied support within the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, France and Spain. This is achieved by introducing a model in which the support for armed conflict is connected to elite persuasion operating in particular contexts. This model is tested in a comparative study, using international opinion polls, official policy statements, newspapers and information on past terrorist attacks. It would be reckless to claim to have a clear and simple answer to the research question after such a limited study, but the results do supply an interesting framework for further research. The main function of nationalism is shaping and... (More)
This dissertation attempts to answer the question of why the 2003 armed conflict against Iraq received such varied support within the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, France and Spain. This is achieved by introducing a model in which the support for armed conflict is connected to elite persuasion operating in particular contexts. This model is tested in a comparative study, using international opinion polls, official policy statements, newspapers and information on past terrorist attacks. It would be reckless to claim to have a clear and simple answer to the research question after such a limited study, but the results do supply an interesting framework for further research. The main function of nationalism is shaping and maintaining national identity so as to promote popular loyalty to the state. In order to mobilise substantial support for the policies regarding an armed conflict the justifications for it must be endorsed in the national identity of that particular state. If not, either the justifications or national identity has to be modified. It is therefore not only the initial definition of the particular national identity that is important, but also how this could be amended. The dominant elite appears to be essential to this process, as does the public experience of vulnerability. A recent attack by international terrorism with severe consequences, which a large part of the targeted population can relate to, appears to supply an opportunity for moulding national identity at that time, as well as in the near future. It thus appears that the war against Iraq received such varied support within the five chosen states at least in part because the initial definitions of their national identities endorsed the justifications for the war to different degrees, the dominant elites promoted different opinions and the people experienced different degrees of vulnerability. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
publishing date
type
Thesis
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Nationalism, vulnerability, armed conflict, war, established state, Iraq, U.S.A, U.K, Australia, France, Spain, national identity, ideology, mobilisation, elite, social psychology, comparative research, retroductive research strategy, elite persuasion
pages
91 pages
publisher
University of Edinburgh
language
English
LU publication?
no
id
f80b45c3-7a39-44e6-a4b5-378a58292a48 (old id 2294982)
date added to LUP
2012-01-19 10:19:17
date last changed
2016-10-11 09:01:33
@misc{f80b45c3-7a39-44e6-a4b5-378a58292a48,
  abstract     = {This dissertation attempts to answer the question of why the 2003 armed conflict against Iraq received such varied support within the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, France and Spain. This is achieved by introducing a model in which the support for armed conflict is connected to elite persuasion operating in particular contexts. This model is tested in a comparative study, using international opinion polls, official policy statements, newspapers and information on past terrorist attacks. It would be reckless to claim to have a clear and simple answer to the research question after such a limited study, but the results do supply an interesting framework for further research. The main function of nationalism is shaping and maintaining national identity so as to promote popular loyalty to the state. In order to mobilise substantial support for the policies regarding an armed conflict the justifications for it must be endorsed in the national identity of that particular state. If not, either the justifications or national identity has to be modified. It is therefore not only the initial definition of the particular national identity that is important, but also how this could be amended. The dominant elite appears to be essential to this process, as does the public experience of vulnerability. A recent attack by international terrorism with severe consequences, which a large part of the targeted population can relate to, appears to supply an opportunity for moulding national identity at that time, as well as in the near future. It thus appears that the war against Iraq received such varied support within the five chosen states at least in part because the initial definitions of their national identities endorsed the justifications for the war to different degrees, the dominant elites promoted different opinions and the people experienced different degrees of vulnerability.},
  author       = {Becker, Per},
  keyword      = {Nationalism,vulnerability,armed conflict,war,established state,Iraq,U.S.A,U.K,Australia,France,Spain,national identity,ideology,mobilisation,elite,social psychology,comparative research,retroductive research strategy,elite persuasion},
  language     = {eng},
  pages        = {91},
  publisher    = {ARRAY(0xb746220)},
  title        = {Vulnerability and nationalism: The support for the war against Iraq in five established states},
  year         = {2003},
}