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Terrorism rhetoric under the Bush Administration: Discourses and effects

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In this paper I examine some of the properties of the speeches by former U.S. President George W. Bush framing the issue of terrorism as the most pressing menace humanity is facing and some of the consequences of the selective appropriation of the discourse on terrorism initially instantiated by Bush. The theoretical framework for the analysis is a multidisciplinary Critical Discourse Analysis approach relating discursive and socio-political aspects of U.S. presidential discourses on terrorism in the Bush era. Parallel to an analysis of common characteristics of political discourse, such as ‘us’ versus ‘other’ representations, the device of over/less characterisation, hyperboles and repetitions, attention is also directed towards the socio-political effects deriving from the ways in which ‘terrorism’ and ‘terrorists’ have been represented by the presidential discourse on terrorism that condition the contemporary life of individuals and groups all around the world.
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Keywords: Critical Discourse Analysis; September 11, 2001; political discourse; rhetoric; terrorism

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2012

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