The Biopolitics of Security: Oil, Empire, and the Sports Utility Vehicle



In the wake of 9/11 the Bush administration has called upon established foreign policy discourses to cement the idea of a nation at war.1 Given the amorphous and often virtual nature of the “war on terror,” in which the adversary is by definition largely unseen, the association of other resistant elements with terrorism has become a mechanism for materializing the threat. Notorious in this regard was the Bush administration’s linking of internal and external threats by aligning individual drug use at home with support for terrorism abroad. In itself, this is not a new argument, with alleged links to terrorism having been featured in previous episodes of the U.S. “war on drugs.”2 However, the Bush administration went one step further by making a causal connection between individual behavior and international danger. The Office for National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) launched hard-hitting advertisements in which the social choices of hedonistic youngsters were said to directly enrich and enable terrorists threatening the United States.3


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© Elizabeth Dauphinee and Cristina Masters 2007

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