EXPLANATION OF THE PROLIFERATION IMAGE CONCEPT
EXPLANATION OF THE "IMAGE" CONCEPT
DAVID MUTIMER, Prof. Political Science York University, 2000; THE WEAPONS STATE: PROLIFERATION AND THE FRAMING OF SECURITY // VT2002 acs p. 17-18
In a short book published in 1956, Kenneth Boulding outlined a similar conception of social life around the concept of the image: "The image not only makes society, society continually remakes the image. This hen and egg process is perhaps the most important key to the understanding of the dynamics of society. The basic bond of any society, culture, subculture, or organization is a 'public image,' that is, an image the essential characteristics of which are shared by the individuals participating in the group." Practices are stable patterns of behavior produced by acting in terms of the image; on the other hand, the image is seen in those same patterns of behavior, and thus it is reproduced. What Boulding calls the image is necessarily social; it is a public image shared by members of a society. Thus the acts of interpretation that produce practices are not subjective, as they appear in the previous paragraph, but intersubjective.
THE VARIOUS "IMAGES" WHICH ARE USED TO FRAME WEAPONS SYSTEMS ARE LISTED AND EXPLAINED -- THE PROLIFERATION IMAGE NOW DOMINATES
DAVID MUTIMER, Prof. Political Science York University, 2000; THE WEAPONS STATE: PROLIFERATION AND THE FRAMING OF SECURITY // VT2002 acs p. 51-52
The various technologies now included in the weapons proliferation agenda-nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons and excessive and destabilizing accumulations of conventional arms-have been imagined in very different ways throughout the twentieth century. Nuclear weapons have been framed in terms of at least four images: "deterrence ... .. disarmament," "arms control," and, of course, "proliferation." Chemical and biological weapons, although at times framed within the practices produced by these four images, have also been framed in terms of a "taboo." Finally, conventional weapons (a framing in itself and one that requires weapons of mass destruction for its meaning) have additionally been framed by a 44 commercial" image, as industrial products traded in markets. These varied images, which constituted their particular weapons as such and were embedded in a set of practices that contained those weapons, provided a rich set of interpretive resources on which policymakers and others could draw in constructing a new security agenda following the Cold War. I argue that one of these images-the "proliferation" image-came to dominate that construction, but the new "proliferation" image draws on these resources in interesting ways to create a particular security problem in the contemporary world.
PROLIFERATION IMAGE HAS BEEN USED TO FRAME ALL SECURITY POLICY SINCE THE GULF WAR
DAVID MUTIMER, Prof. Political Science York University, 2000; THE WEAPONS STATE-. PROLIFERATION AND THE FRAMING OF SECURITY // VT2002 acs p. 62-63
A "proliferation" image produces a particular kind of object. It imagines a technology that reproduces naturally and autonomously, moving outward from an identifiable origin by relentlessly multiplying. The image imagines this technology as essentially benign but with the possibility of excess-reproduction is natural, expected, and even desirable, but prolific reproduction is dangerous. To permit the benign spread of technology while preventing the dangerous conclusion to that spread, external controls are required. Because the object of "proliferation" is imagined in this fashion, the forms of control that can be applied are constrained. Put another way, the particular imagination of the object of "proliferation" enables a specific series of control practices. The reverse is also true: creating given practices will construct the object of those practices in particular ways. The result is a neatly closed circle it is simple to reify-we face this particular problem with these practices; these practices are employed, so we are facing this problem. Read in either direction, the contingent becomes seen as the natural.
What has happened since the late 1980s, particularly following the war in the Gulf, has been the reimagining of all forms of military technology in terms of the "proliferation" image and the embedding of that image in a series of control practices. Alternatively, a series of control practices has been established around the range of military technologies, which has constituted the object of those practices as a "proliferation" problem.
THE IMAGE THAT IS USED TO FRAME SECURITY QUESTIONS LIKE WMD WHICH CREATE OUR POLICIES
DAVID MUTIMER, Prof. Political Science York University, 2000; THE WEAPONS STATE: PROLIFERATION AND THE FRAMING OF SECURITY // VT2002 acs p. 16-17
These "representations through which state officials and others make sense of the world around them" are central to my argument in this book. Rather than take the objects of study as given, I ask questions about the construction of a particular object, a particular set of identities and interests, and the specific practices through which proliferation is confronted. The key to answering these questions is to identify the way in which the problem is represented or, to use the language I deploy later, the image that is used to frame the issue in question. This image serves to construct the object of analysis or policy, to identify the actors, and to define their interests. It is therefore the image that enables the practices through which these actors respond to the problem of proliferation.