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Title: Securitization for War: An Examination of the US Home Front During WWI and its Implications for Securitization Theory
Authors: Markham, Cai
Advisors: Fronczak, Joseph
Department: Princeton School of Public and International Affairs
Class Year: 2021
Abstract: This paper seeks to test securitization theory, a prominent account of security in international security studies, using the case of the World War I American home front. In its basic conception, securitization is when an existential threat to a referent object is constructed in reference to a relevant audience, and extraordinary measures are employed to avert the threat. Seeking to understand the events surrounding American war entry, wartime repression, and propaganda in these terms, the paper traces the narratives that justified American participation in the war and repression of dissent to this policy as vital to defense (or security). It also analyses the practice of state and local coercion justified by war necessity, and the state of assent and dissent to the war and domestic repression in American society. It utilizes discourse analysis of primacy sources such as the congressional record and the propaganda materials of the Committee on Public Information, as well as the academic literature on the period. It builds a number of arguments, emphasizing the unviability of a supranational or universal referent object, the way securitization can be used as a tool by various actors, and the complex nature of securitizing actor and audience relations.
Type of Material: Princeton University Senior Theses
Language: en
Appears in Collections:Princeton School of Public and International Affairs, 1929-2021

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