In this seminar we will take stock of 15 years global war on terrorism and its impact on US national security policy. The terror attacks from 9/11 are regarded as a watershed moment that changed grand strategy in the last decade. While of global relevance, we will analyze how the war on terror shaped American domestic politics and produced the rise of the national-security state and the surveillance-industrial complex – an interconnected assemblage of state-sponsored surveillance activity and industrial development, as revealed by leaks of former NSA-contractor Edward Snowden. The rise of the national security state goes hand in hand with the degradation or regression of civil liberties and democratic checks and balances.
Guided by constructivist theoretical frameworks such as the Copenhagen school, discourse theory and the recent literature on norm dynamics, i.e. norm-regression, we will analyze post 9/11 security policy under the Bush and Obama administration. We will analyze developments such as Patriot Act, homeland security policy, NSA mass-surveillance and the development of offensive cyber-war capabilities. Terrorist groups such as Al-Qaeda or ISIS and terrorism research in general will only play a marginal role.
- Priest, D., & Arkin, W. M. (2012). Top Secret America: The Rise of the New American Security State (Reprint ed.). New York, Boston, London: Back Bay Books.
- Shorrock, T. (2009). Spies for Hire: The Secret World of Intelligence Outsourcing (First Edition ed.). New York: Simon & Schuster.
- Risen, J. (2006). State of War: The Secret History of the CIA and the Bush Administration. Free Press.
- Starr-Deelen, D. (2014). Presidential Policies on Terrorism: From Ronald Reagan to Barack Obama. Palgrave Macmillan.
- Harris, S. (2014). @War: The Rise of the Military-Internet Complex (Reprint ed.). Eamon Dolan/Mariner Books.