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Why War?The Cultural Logic of Iraq, the Gulf War, and Suez$
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Philip Smith

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780226763880

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: March 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226763910.001.0001

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War and Narrative

War and Narrative

Chapter:
(p.205) Six War and Narrative
Source:
Why War?
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226763910.003.0006

This chapter sets out the relationship between conflict legitimacy and genre within civil discourse for the four countries over the three wars. It also aligns this with the level of military involvement. The findings are clear: genre choices align with war in ways that are regular and predictable over a large number of cases. When successfully institutionalized and widely shared the apocalyptic frame encourages war. Realist and tragic frames are associated with low levels of legitimacy and military intervention. Such a result has a number of significant implications. Adumbrating these, batting away objections, and opening a normative door is the principal task of this final chapter.

Keywords:   conflict, legitimacy, civil discourse, genre choice, war, military intervention

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