In America and the Politics of Insecurity, Andrew Rojecki assesses the response of citizens and politicians to a series of crises that confronted the United States during the first decade of the twenty-first century. This period brought Americans face to face with extraordinarily difficult problems that were compounded by their origin in seemingly uncontrollable global forces. Rojecki establishes a theoretical framework for understanding how these new uncertainties contribute to increasingly polarized political discourse.
Analyzing three domains of American insecurity-economic, environmental, and existential-Rojecki examines responses to the Great Recession by groups like the Tea Party and Occupy Wall Street; considers why the growing demand for fossil fuels makes people disregard global warming; and explores the desire for security measures that restrict personal freedom in the age of terrorism. Ultimately, he explains why the right has thus far held an edge over the left in the politics of insecurity.
Rojecki concludes that in order to address these broad-scale political problems, we must reframe domestic issues as reactions to undiagnosed global conditions. Bringing the psychology of uncertainty together with contemporary case studies, this book is a sweeping diagnostic for-and antidote to-ineffective political discourse in a globalized world that imports bads as well as goods.
Andrew Rojecki is an associate professor of communication at the University of Illinois-Chicago. He is the author of Silencing the Opposition: Antinuclear Movements and the Media in the Cold War and the coauthor of The Black Image in the White Mind: Media and Race in America.
List of Figures and TablesAcknowledgments1. Globalization and Insecurity2. Uncertainty, Interests, and Identity3. Unknown Unknowns4. American Exceptionalism and Post-9/11 Foreign Policy5. Climate Change and the Flood6. Porosity and Paradox7. Reaction from the Right8. Reactions from the Left9. The New Normal and the Limits of InsecurityReferencesIndex