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Grieving, Valuing, and Viewing Differently: The Global War on Terror's American Toll

Purnell, K. (2018). Grieving, Valuing, and Viewing Differently: The Global War on Terror's American Toll. International Political Sociology, 12(2), pp. 156-171. doi: 10.1093/ips/oly004

Abstract

In March 2003 (the eve of Iraq’s invasion) the George W. Bush Administration reissued, extended, and enforced a Directive prohibiting the publication and broadcast of images and videos capturing the ritual repatriation of America’s war dead. This Directive (known as the Dover Ban) is exemplary of a wider set of more subtle processes and practices of American statecraft working to move suffering and dead American soldiers out of the American public eye’s sight. This is due, I argue, to dominant (Government and Military) bodies knowing, valuing, and counting generic soldier material as but a “precious resource” with which to fuel the GWoT. However, my investigation into the (in)visibility of suffering and dead American soldiers since 9/11 reveals that subordinate yet challenging American bodies could not be stopped from knowing, valuing, and counting American soldiers differently—in life, injury, and death. Indeed, regarding American soldiers as grievable persons, the challenging actions discussed in this article demonstrate how Americans were moved to demand and take the right to count and account for soldiers’ suffering and deaths in public and the very face of dominant bodies that “don’t do body counts”.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: This is a pre-copyedited, author-produced version of an article accepted for publication in 'International Political Sociology' following peer review. The version of record Purnell, K. (2018). Grieving, Valuing, and Viewing Differently: The Global War on Terror's American Toll. International Political Sociology, 12(2), pp. 156-171 is available online at: https://doi.org/10.1093/ips/oly004
Subjects: J Political Science > JK Political institutions (United States)
J Political Science > JZ International relations
Departments: School of Arts & Social Sciences > International Politics
URI: http://openaccess.city.ac.uk/id/eprint/20315
[img] Text - Accepted Version
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