The Concept of Geopolitical Discourse of Terrorism; Bush Administration’s Geopolitical Imagination of the Middle East

Document Type : Original Article


1 Full Professor of Political Geography, Tarbiat Modares University, Tehran, Iran

2 Ph.D Student of Political Geography, Tarbiat Modares University, Tehran, Iran

3 Associate Professor of Linguistics, Tarbiat Modares University, Tehran, Iran


This article has used critical approach in critical geopolitics to describe the concept of terrorism geopolitical discourse. This article has used this method because it will make our attention more focused on perceptions in national governments, ideologies and cultures that exist in power, space and earth. What changes terrorism to a political discourse is different government’s definition of terrorism and their misuse to justify their geopolitical actions. Terrorism geopolitical discourse is something more than metaphorical cocktail of specific political terms which is defined by every government to use for their own purposes and misguide public opinions.This article wants to analyze Bush administration’s treatment of terrorism in the Middle East specifically in Iran and Iraq. This article argue that the US and more specific Bush’s administration tried to polarize the world and give holiness to fight against terrorism by compartmentalize the states into two bad and good states.
Ernesto Laclau and Chantal Mouffe discourse theory is used as research method. Articulation has an important role in L&M discourse theory. Various ingredients which looks meaningless after separating will find a new identity when comes together. The research is about to use articulation to analyze Bush's administration terrorism discourse creation. At first, subsidiary reasons will be identified and then their connection with main reason will be drawn.
The research findings show that the Bush's administration takes advantage of terrorism discourse in its geopolitical imagination for the Middle East. Beside of identification, it can justify its intervention in the world especially in Iraq and Afghanistan. The most important of these dichotomies are: civilization vs. barbarism, good vs. Evil, Law vs. lawlessness, freedom and democracy vs. tyranny, human rights vs. human rights violations, developed vs. underdeveloped. 
In Bush's administration imagination of terrorism that mostly consist of Muslims countries in the Middle East, Iran and Iraq are considered as villains, outlaws, wild, and authoritarian and repressive. These categorizing justify emotionally and enthusiastically Bush's administration military actions by exciting peoples fear and prejudices, because terrorism is the worst when it is connected with lawlessness, brutality, tyranny and repression. In the other hand, the U.S has mentioned her allies as benevolent, regulatory, civilized, developed and liberal and democratic countries and did not have any choice except for political intervene because of their historical prophecy.


Volume 12, Issue 43
September 2017
Pages 28-53
  • Receive Date: 30 April 2014
  • Revise Date: 17 June 2014
  • Accept Date: 08 July 2014
  • First Publish Date: 22 September 2016