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Nuclear Weapons After the Cold War:Change and Continuity in Public Discourses

Cram Helwich, David (2011) Nuclear Weapons After the Cold War:Change and Continuity in Public Discourses. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh.

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    Abstract

    This dissertation assesses the rhetorical dynamics of American public argumentation about the appropriate role of nuclear weapons since the end of the Cold War. Four case studies are examined, including the controversy created by "fallen priests" like General George Lee Butler, the U.S. Senate's deliberations on ratification of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, the George W. Bush administration's campaign to implement its 2001 Nuclear Posture Review, and the public debate about the development and deployment of "mini" nuclear weapons. Collectively, the case studies reveal that a potent combination of institutional interests, restricted access to official deliberative spaces, the deployment of threat discourses, the presumption that nuclear deterrence was effective during the Cold War, and the utilization of technical discursive practices narrowed the scope of public debate about the role of nuclear weapons and allowed advocates of robust nuclear deterrence to construct rhetorical and policy bridges between the Cold War and post-Cold War eras. "Security" and "risk management" frames dominated public discussions about nuclear weapons, and advocates of nuclear abolition were largely unsuccessful in their efforts to reconfigure public argumentation on nuclear weapons policy.


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    Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
    Creators/Authors:
    CreatorsEmailORCID
    Cram Helwich, Davidcramhelwich@gmail.com
    ETD Committee:
    ETD Committee TypeCommittee MemberEmailORCID
    Committee ChairMitchell, Gordon Rgordonm@pitt.edu
    Committee MemberPoulakos, Johnpoulakos@pitt.edu
    Committee MemberLyne, John Rjlyne@pitt.edu
    Committee MemberKeller, William Wbkeller@pitt.edu
    Title: Nuclear Weapons After the Cold War:Change and Continuity in Public Discourses
    Status: Unpublished
    Abstract: This dissertation assesses the rhetorical dynamics of American public argumentation about the appropriate role of nuclear weapons since the end of the Cold War. Four case studies are examined, including the controversy created by "fallen priests" like General George Lee Butler, the U.S. Senate's deliberations on ratification of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, the George W. Bush administration's campaign to implement its 2001 Nuclear Posture Review, and the public debate about the development and deployment of "mini" nuclear weapons. Collectively, the case studies reveal that a potent combination of institutional interests, restricted access to official deliberative spaces, the deployment of threat discourses, the presumption that nuclear deterrence was effective during the Cold War, and the utilization of technical discursive practices narrowed the scope of public debate about the role of nuclear weapons and allowed advocates of robust nuclear deterrence to construct rhetorical and policy bridges between the Cold War and post-Cold War eras. "Security" and "risk management" frames dominated public discussions about nuclear weapons, and advocates of nuclear abolition were largely unsuccessful in their efforts to reconfigure public argumentation on nuclear weapons policy.
    Date: 29 June 2011
    Date Type: Completion
    Defense Date: 24 January 2011
    Approval Date: 29 June 2011
    Submission Date: 19 April 2011
    Access Restriction: No restriction; The work is available for access worldwide immediately.
    Patent pending: No
    Institution: University of Pittsburgh
    Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
    Refereed: Yes
    Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
    URN: etd-04192011-161727
    Uncontrolled Keywords: CTBT; foreign policy; rhetoric
    Schools and Programs: Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > Communication: Rhetoric and Communication
    Date Deposited: 10 Nov 2011 14:39
    Last Modified: 23 May 2012 13:29
    Other ID: http://etd.library.pitt.edu/ETD/available/etd-04192011-161727/, etd-04192011-161727

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