THE PROLIFERATION IMAGE WE USE CREATES OUR WMD POLICIES
THE WAY WE FRAME SECURITY SITUATIONS LIKE PROLIFERATION CREATES HOW WE SEE AND ACT ON PROBLEMS
DAVID MUTIMER, Prof. Political Science York University, 2000; THE WEAPONS STATE: PROLIFERATION AND THE FRAMING OF SECURITY // VT2002 acs p. X1
By asking about the world that is effected by imagining the problem of weapons proliferation in a particular way, the book assumes that security problems, like weapons proliferation, are produced from the way in which the world is seen and acted upon rather than found preformed in the world out there. It is therefore unlike most books about weapons, arms control, proliferation, or even war, because it is rooted in the postpositivist turn in the discipline of international relations. At the same time, the book tries to grapple with the politics of a contemporary issue that is clearly of concern to those who make and analyze international security policy as it is conventionally understood. My hope is that those who think about problems of military security in general, and weapons proliferation in particular, will see some of the political implications of their chosen subject that might not have occurred to them before.
IN SECURITY POLICY ACTS OF INTERPRETATION CREATE POLICIES
DAVID MUTIMER, Prof. Political Science York University, 2000; THE WEAPONS STATE: PROLIFERATION AND THE FRAMING OF SECURITY // VT2002 acs p. 17
Acts of interpretation are indispensable to the reproduction of practices, understood in this fashion. First, before a person can engage in a practice, he or she must determine that previous examples of conduct are part of a single pattern-that is, that they are instances of a single practice rather than multiple practices or random activity. Even having recognized that these prior instances of behavior form a practice, she must formulate a guide to her own activity from these prior instances. Of course, such interpretive acts are often unconscious and are rarely, if ever, entirely individual. We are not often in the position of trying to engage in an unfamiliar practice without assistance. Rather, we share these crucial interpretive acts with others in our society. We recognize collectively that certain patterns of behavior are parts of the same practice, and we teach others, in more or less formal ways, the standards of conduct that govern these behaviors.
THE KINDS OF METAPHORS WE USE TO FRAME SECURITY POLICY INFLUENCE THE POLICY ITSELF
DAVID MUTIMER, Prof. Political Science York University, 2000; THE WEAPONS STATEPROLIFERATION AND THE FRAMING OF SECURITY // VT2002 acs p. 19-20
Paul Chilton recently used metaphor as an analytic starting point to examine the heart of Cold War security discourse. In the conclusion to Security Metaphors, Chilton explains how metaphor relates to policy:
Metaphor is an element in the discourse of policymaking; it does not drive policy.... It would be absurd to reduce the Cold War to the influence of metaphor. However, both cognitive analysts of policymaking and historians of the Cold War have noted the part played by analogical reasoning and by metaphor. Whatever distinctions might be drawn between the two terms "analogy" and "metaphor," they can both be treated as manifestations of the cognitive process whereby one thing is seen in terms of another.
The common understanding of metaphor is that it is a literary technique, allowing an author to provide descriptive depth and allegorical commentary by establishing a relationship between two separate objects or ideas. Chilton argues that metaphors are much more than this, that metaphor is "an indispensable ingredient of thought itself." Policymakers address problems by means of what I have called images-that is, the student or policymaker constructs an image of a problem, of an issue, or even of other actors. This image relates the thing imagined to another, in terms of which the first is understood. This act of relation is crucial both to understanding and to the scholarly act of interpretation that follows. Metaphors compose the images used to structure and support our understanding of a problem and therefore our response to that problem. The choice of Desert Storm over Desert Sword is designed to foster political support for a policy problem by imagining the operation in terms of a force of nature it would be nonsensical to oppose. We might decry the devastation caused by weather, but we would look a bit foolish marching on Washington to bring an end to hurricanes. The general relationships among the image of a policy problem, the condition of the problem itself, and the policy solution to that problem-however, allow these ideas to be given a much wider scope than they would receive as a form of public relations.
THE IMAGE OF PROLIFERATION HAS CREATED OUR CURRENT POLICY CONTEXT
DAVID MUTIMER, Prof. Political Science York University, 2000; THE WEAPONS STATE: PROLIFERATION AND THE FRAMING OF SECURITY // VT2002 acs P. 75
This chapter has shown how this seemingly passive examination, "largely reactive" in Brad Roberts's words, has, in fact, been an active constitution of a problem. The full range of military technology has come to be imagined in terms of a single frame, a frame founded on the image of "proliferation." This image constitutes a particular object at its focus: an autonomous technology that will spread if left unchecked, with potentially devastating consequences. In turn, this frame enables certain practices that aim to check this autonomous technological diffusion. The foundation of these practices is supplier groups, small groups of states that coordinate their own export controls on technologies now identified as proliferation concerns. This construction of the problems associated with weapons technology, however, is not universally welcomed-or accepted.
THE PROLIFERATION IMAGE FRAMES OUR CURRENT UNDERSTANDING OF WMD ISSUES
DAVID MUTIMER, Prof. Political Science York University, 2000; THE WEAPONS STATE: PROLIFERATION AND THE FRAMING OF SECURITY // VT2002 acs p. 155
Conventional accounts of this fight against proliferation tend to include several elements. The end of the Cold War removed the central focus of attention for international security, allowing lesser threats to be more clearly seen and recognized. Thus in Charles Krauthammer's terms, the threat posed by the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction "suddenly dawned" on the West. The catalyst for this sudden recognition of the problem of proliferation was the war against Iraq. Fortunately, the war also served to unite most of the rest of the world in opposition to Iraq and, furthermore, indicated the possibility of effective multilateral action now that the obstacles produced by the Cold War had been removed. All of the world's states and people could be expected to support a renewed drive to control proliferation because the dangers of the spread of deadly weapons were manifest. If any state did not support this program, it could only be because it harbored ambitions to acquire some or all of these weapons for the purpose of upsetting international peace and security.