0 to 100 / The Catch Up : The Securitization and Desecuritization of the Iranian nuclear program in U.S. Presidential Discourse

University essay from Lunds universitet/Statsvetenskapliga institutionen

Abstract: From 2002 to 2015, the Iranian nuclear program was a central issue of U.S. foreign policy. This issue was addressed by the administrations of Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama who had significantly different approaches to said issue. Consequently, the discourse used to address the issue was also different. This study argues that in addressing the issue of the Iranian nuclear program, there was a process of securitization under President Bush and a process of desecuritization under President Obama. This study aims to highlight how these processes took shape in the presidential discourse by focusing on how the presidents perceived the threat of the Iranian nuclear program, portrayed Iran and which responses they proposed. In order for the discourse analysis to be fully understood, the study presents the context in which the presidential discourse was uttered. The study then reviews the main features of securitization and desecuritization in the presidential discourse before comparing them. The results of this study show that despite President Bush and President Obama’s significantly different approaches on the Iranian nuclear program, there are as many similarities at there are differences in the presidents’ discourse on the Iranian nuclear program.

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