• Arguing Security: Rhetoric, Media Environment, and Threat Legitimation

      Pollack, Mark A., 1966-; Deeg, Richard, 1961-; Herrera, Geoffrey Lucas, 1965-; Widmaier, Wesley W. (Temple University. Libraries, 2010)
      In this dissertation, I study the process of gaining public consent about a security threat, or threat legitimation. Threats require legitimation because they are social facts and not objective truths or subjective perceptions. I argue rhetorical resources and strategies affect threat legitimation. Political actors deploy rhetorical resources and strategies in order to generate consent. The rhetorical resources connect together the rhetorical resources to construct a threat narrative used in the public debates. Moreover, I argue that the media environment influences how rhetorical strategies affect threat legitimation, acting as a conditional variable. Therefore I trace the threat narratives in six episodes in the history of United States foreign policy. Through process tracing, I highlight how rhetorical resources and strategies changed the public debates and level of consent about a threat, and how the media environment influenced these rhetorical strategies.