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A Populist Grand Strategy? Trump and the Framing of American Decline

Biegon, Rubrick (2019) A Populist Grand Strategy? Trump and the Framing of American Decline. International Relations, 33 (4). pp. 517-539. ISSN 0047-1178. (doi:10.1177/0047117819852399) (KAR id:73662)


What is the role of ‘populism’ in Donald Trump’s foreign policy? Defining populism as a framing style that constructs antagonisms around ‘the people’ and their adversaries, this article explores Trump’s rhetoric in relation to his efforts to shift US grand strategy away from its traditional investment in the liberal international order. Based on an approach grounded in the ontological commitments of critical discourse analysis, it examines three interlocking frames: (1) the ‘corrupt’ elites of the establishment ‘swamp’; (2) the anti-globalist, ‘America first’ agenda; and (3) poor deal-making responsible for the United States ‘losing’ in international affairs. In responding to declinist themes and anxieties, Trump’s populist rhetoric frames a Jacksonian ideological approach based on nationalism, mercantilism and a reliance on coercive power.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1177/0047117819852399
Uncontrolled keywords: critical discourse analysis, decline, framing, populism, Trump, US foreign policy
Subjects: J Political Science > JZ International relations
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Human and Social Sciences > School of Politics and International Relations
Depositing User: Rubrick Biegon
Date Deposited: 29 Apr 2019 09:46 UTC
Last Modified: 04 Mar 2024 16:53 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

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