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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. (Unpublished)

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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
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Cram Helwich,
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairMitchell, Gordon Rgordonm@pitt.eduGORDONM
Committee MemberPoulakos, Johnpoulakos@pitt.eduPOULAKOS
Committee MemberLyne, John Rjlyne@pitt.eduJLYNE
Committee MemberKeller, William Wbkeller@pitt.eduBKELLER
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; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > Communication: Rhetoric and Communication
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: CTBT; foreign policy; rhetoric
Other ID:, etd-04192011-161727
Date Deposited: 10 Nov 2011 19:39
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2016 13:41


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