GIR Seminar Series 2023 | Uncertainty, Narrative Politics, and US Hard Power | Alexandra Homolar (Warwick)
Government & International Relations Seminar Series:
Uncertainty, Narrative Politics, and US Hard Power
Presenter: Alexandra Homolar (Warwick)
Social Sciences Building (A02), Room 650
The post-Cold War era is often seen as a missed opportunity of epic proportions for the United States to turn swords into ploughshares, with much of the blame placed on international developments. This talk challenges the conventional take on post-Cold War history as imposed on the US by events largely outside its control. Dr Homolar argues that America’s ‘peace dividend’ did not merely fall by the wayside but was actively undermined by the narrative contests over the security implications of the New World Order. As she shows, looking at how political agents reordered their understanding of the international arena at a moment of uncertainty-inducing rupture helps us to understand why a new order might, or might not, emerge and persist over time. While narrative politics may not always matter in US defense policy, at moments perceived as bifurcation points it can be decisive in why some strategic responses prevail over possible alternatives.
Dr Alexandra Homolar is Reader of International Security at the University of Warwick. She currently holds a Leverhulme Research Fellowship for her project ‘Populist Fantasyland’. From 2013 to 2017 she was Principal Investigator for the ESRC project ‘Enemy Addiction’. Alex has published widely on security narratives, including in journals such as Security Dialogue, Global Studies Quarterly, and European Journal of International Relations. Her book “The Uncertainty Doctrine: Narrative Politics and US Hard Power After the Cold War is forthcoming in 2023 with Cambridge University Press.
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