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Political Islam and the United States' new "Other": An analysis of the discourse on political Islam (2001-2007).

Mullin-Lery, Corinna (2008) Political Islam and the United States' new "Other": An analysis of the discourse on political Islam (2001-2007). PhD thesis, London School of Economics and Political Science.

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In this thesis I examine how and why political Islam has come to occupy the position of ontological "other" for the United States, in particular in the period after September 11th and in the context of the "war on terror". In order to do this, I argue that much of the language employed in analyses of political Islam within the various genres of academic writing, political statements, opinion pieces and think-tank reports during this period can be seen to constitute a "discourse" in the Foucaudian sense. In considering its epistemological, historical and ideological roots and manifold contemporary expressions, I demonstrate how this discourse has come to perform both an identity-constructing/affirming role, as well as a politically expedient, rhetorical justificatory function in mainstream political thought and action vis-a-vis the Muslim world. Despite its seemingly hegemonic hold on mainstream perspectives on political Islam, I examine the increasing body of literature that attempts to subvert the discourse on political Islam through critical reflection on issues of U.S./western identity, deconstruction of the discourse's central assumptions and paradigms and, finally, the development of a counter-discourse in its place. These critical endeavours, as well as my own contributions to the counter-discourse, are also discussed in this thesis.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Political Science, General, Islamic Studies
Sets: Collections > ProQuest Etheses
Departments > International Relations

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