Vulnerability and nationalism: the support for the war against Iraq in five established states

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This essay attempts to shed light on why aggressive ideas gain support within established western states. To do that it attempts to answer the question why the armed conflict against Iraq received such varied support during the first four months of 2003 within the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, France and Spain. A comparative study indicates that the justifications for the armed conflict must be endorsed in the national identities of the particular states. If not, either the justifications or national identities have to be modified. The dominant elite emerge as essential to this process, as does the public experience of vulnerability. It appears that the war against Iraq received such varied support because the initial definitions of national identities endorsed the justifications for the war to different degrees, the dominant elites promoted different opinions and the people experienced different degrees of vulnerability.


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Sidor (från-till)340-360
TidskriftNations and Nationalism
Utgåva nummer2
StatusPublished - 2009
Peer review utfördJa