“Det mäktigaste landet i världen”: En diskursanalys av USA:s identitetsskapande genom kärnvapenstrategi under president Obama respektive Trump
This bachelor thesis analyzes how identity is constructed through US nuclear strategy along three themes. The research questions are: which similarities and differences exist between the US nuclear strategy during Presidents Obama and Trump, regarding: a) self image; b) enemy image; c) friend image? The theoretical framework is structured according to the three themes. For the first and third theme, Karlsson’s (2014) theoretical models about Manifest Destiny and liberal or conservative internationalism are used. For the second theme, David Campbell's theory of “Self and Other” (1998) is used. A poststructuralist discourse analysis outlined by Hansen (2006) is also used to answer the research questions. It brings focus to the political, social, relational and discursive role of identity in combination with foreign policy. The material includes the policy documents Nuclear Posture Review (NPR) from 2010 and 2018, along with statements and remarks from Presidents Obama (2009-2017) and Trump (2017-2021). The results show how both presidents tries to establish a picture of the US as exceptional in some way. Obama considers nuclear terrorism and nuclear proliferation as the main threat to United States, while Trump instead regards great power rivalry as the biggest concern. Even though both assures US allies of security commitment, Trump questions the cooperation within NATO while Obama defends it. In conclusion, this study hopefully serves as an example of how a realist policy area can be combined with a non-traditional theory like poststructuralism.