Gendering national identity: a poststructural analysis of the Trump administration and foreign trade policy

University essay from Göteborgs universitet/Institutionen för globala studier

Abstract: This paper takes its onset in an ongoing trade war between the United States (U.S.) andChina. As current president of the U.S., Donald Trump is considered by many to challengehow U.S. foreign affairs are conducted today. For a better understanding of how globalpolitics is conducted, this paper explores a gendered U.S. national identity throughpoststructuralism, through which foreign policy and identity are theorized as relying uponeach other. Poststructuralism challenges the dominant understanding of InternationalRelations, and in how political and analytical perspectives can be investigated. Moreover, theconceptualization of gender in this paper stems from the works of e.g. Judith Butler andNira-Yuval-Davis. By using the method of discourse analysis, the goal of this paper is toidentify articulations of identity constructions and to illustrate how these have genderedimplications, and how this relates to foreign (trade) policy. This paper examines officialspeeches and documents produced by the Trump administration through a discourse analysisand the methodological framework as formulated by Lene Hansen, with an analytical focuson identity constructions and the dichotomy of Self/Other. The findings suggest that the U.S.national identity as constructed under the Trump administration draws upon genderedunderpinnings, which are performative reciprocally relational to foreign policy, as showcasedthrough the U.S. China trade war.

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