Partisan narratives on the 2016 US presidential election: a critical geopolitical analysis of Russian interference
Stanley, Rebecca Evangeline
MetadataShow full item record
As the Cold War drew to a close, the German sociologist Ulrich Beck coined the concept of reflexive modernization to describe the structural risks inadvertently produced by modernity’s progress. Through the approach of critical geopolitics, such risks radically began to transform traditional understanding of space and territory, allegedly deterritorializing traditional spatial structures, such as nation-states. However, scholars maintain that the process of reterritorialization, defined as the “inscription of new boundaries” reattaching space to “newly imagined visions of state, territory, and community,” cyclically follow deterritorialization (Albert 1991, 61; Ó Tuathail 1996, 230). Nevertheless, few scholars in the field of International Relations (IR), have seriously analyzed the process of reterritorialization. However, following the 2016 US presidential election, popular discourse in the US on Russian interference appeared to reterritorialize previously deterritorialized space, such as cyber and information space, by likening Russian hacks, leaks and collusion to the violation of the sovereign territory of the US. Thus, this thesis aims to research how US popular discourse reterritorializes Russian interference in the 2016 US presidential election, while comparing and contrasting the partisan narratives constructed in light of the political polarization of the US in recent years. To achieve this goal, a discourse analysis is conducted on storylines from 30 online news articles, from three right-wing and three left-wing media outlets. As hypothesized, the analysis confirms that both partisan narratives reterritorialize previously deterritorialized risks associated with reflexive modernization, transcribe the storylines into traditional US geopolitical culture, and call for assertive measures towards Russia which violated US territory, as well as towards internal Others, which weakened US territory.
The following license files are associated with this item: