Reinventing geopolitical codes in the post-Cold War world with special reference to international terrorism

Rae, Norman G. D. (2007) Reinventing geopolitical codes in the post-Cold War world with special reference to international terrorism. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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Through a study of geopolitical codes, this thesis examines the condition of the Westphalian sovereign state in the post-Cold War world. Focusing primarily on the events of September 11th 2001 and their aftermath, the research questions the sustainability of the state as conceived by (neo)realists in the context of new regional and global actors and the processes underpinning these.

From a critical realist perspective the study uses a comparison between Europe, where regionalization is particularly noticeable, and the hegemonic United States, in order to explore how the non-state global terrorist actor and the regional European actor impact upon responses, characterizations and therefore geopolitical codes relating to terrorism. In so doing the plausibility of emerging common European geopolitical codes is considered.

The thesis is structured around the discussion of the codes of the United States, Britain and France, in addition to a more limited examination of the European Union. This (neo)realist component is complemented by the use of discourse analysis, a technique more common in critical geopolitics. The analysis is applied to government documents from each of the sample states (and the EU).

From this analysis the research determines that each state retains unique geopolitical codes while sharing many components that contribute to their reproduction as sovereign states. Furthermore, although common European codes appear to be unlikely in these circumstances, the European context and imaginations apparent in Britain and France points to a regional dimension. The thesis concludes that the Westphalian sovereign state remains the dominant geopolitical actor, although other actors impinge upon it. This is more apparent in Europe where the regional dimension constitutes an added layer of governance and may signify a move away from the ‘modern’ character of the Westphalian state that continues to be more persistent in hegemonic America.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: Geopolitics; Geopolitical Codes; United States; United Kingdom; France; International Terrorism; September 11th
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare
J Political Science > JZ International relations
D History General and Old World > D History (General) > D839 Post-war History, 1945 on
Colleges/Schools: College of Science and Engineering > School of Geographical and Earth Sciences
Supervisor's Name: Paddison, Professor Ronan and Sharp, Dr Joanne
Date of Award: 2007
Depositing User: Mr Norman G. D. Rae
Unique ID: glathesis:2007-26
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 20 Nov 2007
Last Modified: 10 Dec 2012 13:14

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