This thoughtful text demonstrates how the mass media constructs a politics of fear in the United States. Using a social interactionist perspective, the chapters examines such issues as the expansion of surveillance on the Internet, the construction of a terrorism-fighting hero to promote patriotism, the use of social media by terror groups, the fear of the other fostered by the refugee crisis and western radicalization, as well as the mass-mediated reaction to recent terrorist attacks. Also covered are the politics of fear involving disease (Ebola, Zika), social control efforts, and harsh attacks on American governmental officials for not keeping people safe from harm. All chapters in this new edition have been updated with descriptions and relevant analysis of significant events, including two Israeli-Hamas wars, terrorism attacks (e.g., Boston Marathon, Charlie Hebdo, San Bernadino, etc.), global reactions—often hostility—to refugees in the United States and especially Europe, the development of ISIS, surveillance (Wiki Leaks, Snowden, NSA), and the growing significance of social media. The text explains how the social construction of fear is used to steer public and foreign policy, arguing that security policies to protect the citizenry from violence have become control systems that most often curtail privacy and civil liberties.
Winner of the Austrian Book Prize for the 2016 German translation, in the category of Humanities and Social Sciences. Populist right-wing politics is moving centre-stage, with some parties reaching the very top of the electoral ladder: but do we know why, and why now? In this book Ruth Wodak traces the trajectories of such parties from the margins of the political landscape to its centre, to understand and explain how they are transforming from fringe voices to persuasive political actors who set the agenda and frame media debates. Laying bare the normalization of nationalistic, xenophobic, racist and antisemitic rhetoric, she builds a new framework for this ‘politics of fear’ that is entrenching new social divides of nation, gender and body. The result reveals the micro-politics of right-wing populism: how discourses, genres, images and texts are performed and manipulated in both formal and also everyday contexts with profound consequences. This book is a must-read for scholars and students of linguistics, media and politics wishing to understand these dynamics that are re-shaping our political space.
First published in 1989, just before the Gulf War broke out, Republic of Fear was the only book that explained the motives of the Saddam Hussein regime in invading and annexing Kuwait. This edition, updated in 1998, has a substantial introduction focusing on the changes in Hussein's regime since the Gulf War. In 1968 a coup d'état brought into power an extraordinary regime in Iraq, one that stood apart from other regimes in the Middle East. Between 1968 and 1980, this new regime, headed by the Arab Ba'th Socialist party, used ruthless repression and relentless organization to transform the way Iraqis think and react to political questions. In just twelve years, a party of a few thousand people grew to include nearly ten percent of the Iraqi population. This book describes the experience of Ba'thism from 1968 to 1980 and analyzes the kind of political authority it engendered, culminating in the personality cult around Saddam Hussein. Fear, the author argues, is at the heart of Ba'thi politics and has become the cement for a genuine authority, however bizarre. Examining Iraqi history in a search for clues to understanding contemporary political affairs, the author illustrates how the quality of Ba'thi pan-Arabism as an ideology, the centrality of the first experience of pan-Arabism in Iraq, and the interaction between the Ba'th and communist parties in Iraq from 1958 to 1968 were crucial in shaping the current regime. Saddam Hussein's decision to launch all-out war against Iran in September 1980 marks the end of the first phase of this re-shaping of modern Iraqi politics. The Iraq-Iran war is a momentous event in its own right, but for Iraq, the author argues, the war diverts dissent against the Ba'thi regime by focusing attention on the specter of an enemy beyond Iraq's borders, thus masking a hidden potential for even greater violence inside Iraq.
The Politics of Horror in Conservative Evangelicalism
Author: Jason C Bivins
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Conservative evangelicalism has transformed American politics, disseminating a sometimes fearful message not just through conventional channels, but through subcultures and alternate modes of communication. Within this world is a "Religion of Fear," a critical impulse that dramatizes cultural and political conflicts and issues in frightening ways that serve to contrast "orthodox" behaviors and beliefs with those linked to darkness, fear, and demonology. Jason Bivins offers close examinations of several popular evangelical cultural creations including the Left Behind novels, church-sponsored Halloween "Hell Houses," sensational comic books, especially those disseminated by Jack Chick, and anti-rock and -rap rhetoric and censorship. Bivins depicts these fascinating and often troubling phenomena in vivid (sometimes lurid) detail and shows how they seek to shape evangelical cultural identity. As the "Religion of Fear" has developed since the 1960s, Bivins sees its message moving from a place of relative marginality to one of prominence. What does it say about American public life that such ideas of fearful religion and violent politics have become normalized? Addressing this question, Bivins establishes links and resonances between the cultural politics of evangelical pop, the activism of the New Christian Right, and the political exhaustion facing American democracy. Religion of Fear is a significant contribution to our understanding of the new shapes of political religion in the United States, of American evangelicalism, of the relation of religion and the media, and the link between religious pop culture and politics.
The act of violence of 9/11 changed the global security agenda, catapulting terrorism to the top of the agenda. Weapons of mass destruction grabbed public interest and controlling the free movement of people became a national security priority. In this volume, Jef Huysmans critically engages with theoretical developments in international relations and security studies to develop a conceptual framework for studying security. He argues that security policies and responses do not appear out of the blue, but are part of a continuous and gradual process, pre-structured by previous developments. He examines this process of securitization and explores how an issue, on the basis of the distribution and administration of fear, becomes a security policy. Huysmans then applies this theory to provide a detailed analysis of migration, asylum and refuge in the European Union. This theoretically sophisticated, yet accessible volume, makes an important contribution to the study of security, migration and European politics.
Kiryat Shmona, located near the Israeli-Lebanese border, often makes the news whenever there is an outbreak of violence between the two countries. In Israel's northernmost city, the residents are mostly Mizrahim, that is, Jews descending from Arab and Muslim lands. Cathrine Thorleifsson uses the dynamics at play along this border to develop wider conclusions about the nature of nationalism, identity, ethnicity and xenophobia in Israel, and the ways in which these shift over time and are manipulated in different ways for various ends. She explores the idea of being on the 'periphery' of nationhood: examining the identity-forming and negotiating processes of these Mizrahim who do not neatly dove-tail with the predominantly Ashkenazi concept of what it means to be 'Israeli'. Through in-depth ethnographic observation and analysis, Thorleifsson highlights the daily negotiation of Moroccan and Persian Jewish families who define themselves in opposition to Ashkenazi Jews from Russia and Central and Eastern Europe and the Druze, Christian and Muslim Arab populations which surround them. But this is not just an examination of differences and stereotypes which are continually perpetuated. Instead, Thorleifsson highlights the instances of inter-marriage between Mizrahi and Ashkenazi Jews, and what this means for the high politics of nationalist narratives as well as the everyday aspect of family dynamics. But having done so, she does also acknowledge that many of Israel's laws which deal with ethnic identity do result in discrimination and daily exclusion against a large number of its citizens, something which reflects the ethnocratic character of the state. By including all of these different aspects of the daily negotiation of identity in a northern town in Israel, Thorleifsson offers a frank and balanced account of the nature of state nationalism and the people who are affected by it. Covering an interesting aspect of Israeli society which is often overlooked, this account of relations between both Ashkenazi and Mizrahi Jews and those between Mizrahi Jews and Palestinians is an important contribution to the study of Israeli and Middle Eastern societies.
The Political Production of Fear in Theory and Practice
Author: Hisham Ramadan
Publisher: University of Toronto Press
Category: Political Science
Fear is a powerful emotion and a formidable spur to action, a source of worry and - when it is manipulated - a source of injustice. Manufacturing Phobias demonstrates how economic and political elites mobilize fears of terrorism, crime, migration, invasion, and infection to twist political and social policy and advance their own agendas. The contributors to the collection, experts in criminology, law, sociology, and politics, explain how and why social phobias are created by pundits, politicians, and the media, and how they target the most vulnerable in our society. Emphasizing how social phobias reflect the interests of those with political, economic, and cultural power, this work challenges the idea that society's anxieties are merely expressions of individual psychology. Manufacturing Phobias will be a clarion call for anyone concerned about the disturbing consequences of our culture of fear.