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Le discours américain sur le terrorisme : Constitution, évolution et contextes d’énonciation (1972-1992)

Abstract : Since the attacks of September 11, 2001 against New York and Washington, D.C., the term of « terrorism » took a dominating place in the American political speech. Deeply pejorative and always accompanied by a strong moral judgment, it has been used to explain and justify the use of force in several regions around the world and curbs on the civil liberties of American citizens, all in spite of the absence of a clear definition of this concept at the American as well as at the international level. The American discourse on terrorism made its appearance on the political scene during the last decade of the Cold war, the Soviet Union and its « totalitarian » allies being described by Ronald Reagan as resorting to « international terrorism » in order to fulfill their hegemonic goals and as waging a war against the whole civilized world, initially in Central America and then, more and more often, in the Middle East.The American president, expressing himself in a protected context, never had to put forth an explicit definition of the term. However, the debates in Congress, at the General Assembly and the Security Council of the United Nations reveal that this concept was strongly disputed at the time both within the American government and at the international level, and that the representatives of the American government defended not one but multiple and very different discourses, each adapted to its specific context of enunciation. Through this process of compartmentalization, made possible by the absence of a clear and widely-accepted definition of « terrorism » but also by the role played by experts and the media, the American discourse was able to impose itself on the political scene in spite of its internal contradictions and, after the interlude of the 1990s, to complete its triumphant comeback after September 11, 2001.
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Submitted on : Thursday, December 13, 2012 - 3:52:21 PM
Last modification on : Thursday, September 24, 2020 - 4:13:45 AM
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  • HAL Id : tel-00764900, version 1


Rémi Brulin. Le discours américain sur le terrorisme : Constitution, évolution et contextes d’énonciation (1972-1992). Science politique. Université de la Sorbonne nouvelle - Paris III, 2011. Français. ⟨NNT : 2011PA030163⟩. ⟨tel-00764900⟩



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