Discursive strategies for legitimizing U.S. sanctions policy towards Russia (2021-2023)

Discursive strategies for legitimizing U.S. sanctions policy towards Russia (2021-2023)



Article received: 2023.10.18. Accepted: 2024.02.09


DOI: 10.17976/jpps/2024.03.08
EDN: NTYWXM


For citation:

Sokolshchik L.M., Sokolshchik Yu.S., Teremetskiy K.S. Discursive strategies for legitimizing U.S. sanctions policy towards Russia (2021-2023). – Polis. Political Studies. 2024. No. 3. P. 109-125. (In Russ.). https://doi.org/10.17976/jpps/2024.03.08. EDN: NTYWXM


The research project was funded by Russian Scientific Foundation, project number 23-18-00535, https://rscf.ru/project/23-18-00535/


Abstract

The aim of the study is to conduct a comprehensive analysis of discursive strategies for legitimizing the United States (U.S.) sanctions policy against Russia during the Biden Administration. The paper is based on a constructivist theory within the study of international relations and methodological innovations by T. van Dijk, T.J. van Leeuwen, R. Wodak. The research investigates the hypothesis that the absence of an international legal framework for anti-Russian sanctions creates an increased need for the United States to legitimize them. The work uses critical discourse analysis (CDA) to investigate discursive strategies of legitimization of U.S. sanctions against Russia (through 1) emotions; 2) hypothetical future; 3) procedures; 4) expert opinion; 5) altruism). The study shows that anti-Russian sanctions is a part of the hegemonic foreign policy of the United States. It is manifested, reproduced, and justified through the official narrative. Political discourses containing ideological attitudes are used by the United States to create, maintain and protect its identity, which is based on the binary opposition “ Self-Positive Representation - Other-Negative Representation” and has a projection on the country's foreign policy. The most convincing discursive strategies of legitimization are those that appeal to the fundamental pillars of American identity (strategies 1, 2, 5). Strategies that rely on more specific/ situational grounds and argumentation systems are the least convincing (strategies 3, 4).

Keywords
sanctions policy, Russia, U.S., discursive strategies, legitimation, official narrative.


References

Ashford, E. (2016). Not-so-smart sanctions: the failure of Western restrictions against Russia. Foreign Affairs, 95(1), 114-123.

Campbell, D. (1993). Politics without principle: sovereignty, ethics, and the narratives of the Gulf War. Lynne Rienner Publishers. https://doi.org/10.1515/9781685856090

Cap, P. (2008). Legitimisation in political discourse: a cross-disciplinary perspective on the modern US war rhetoric. 2nd ed. Cambridge Scholars.

Chang, Y.Y. (2021). The post-pandemic world: between constitutionalized and authoritarian orders - China's narrative-power play in the pandemic era. Journal of Chinese Political Science, 26, 27-65. https:// doi.org/10.1007/s11366-020-09695-3

Drezner, D. (2015). Targeted sanctions in a world of global finance. International Interactions, 41(4), 755-764. https://doi.org/10.1080/03050629.2015.1041297

Elham, K., & Zeinab, G.T. (2019). Otherising Iran in American political discourse: case study of a post- JCPOA senate hearing on Iran sanctions, Third World Quarterly, Taylor & Francis Journals, 40(1), 109-128. https://doi.org/10.1080/01436597.2018.1513786

Fairclough, N., & Wodak, R. (1997). Critical discourse analysis. In van Dijk, T. (Ed.), Discourse Studies: A Multidisciplinary Introduction. Vol. 2 (pp. 258-284). London: Sage.

Grauvogel, J., & von Soest, C. (2014). Claims to legitimacy count: why sanctions fail to instigate democratisation in authoritarian. European Journal of Political Research, 53(4), 635-653. https://doi.org/10.1111/1475-6765.12065

Gunitsky, S., & Tsygankov, A.P. (2018). The wilsonian bias in the study of Russian foreign policy. Problems of Post-Communism, 65(6), 385-393. https://doi.org/10.1080/10758216.2018.1468270

Hinchman, L., & Hinchman, S. (1997). Memory, identity and community: the idea of narrative in the human sciences. Albany: State University of New York Press.

Hufbauer, G., Schott, J., Elliot, K., & Oegg, B. (2009). Economic sanctions reconsidered. Peterson Institute Press.

Jorgensen, K.E., & Marshall, J.B. (2023). Russia, China and the revisionist assault on the Western liberal international order. Palgrave Macmillan.

Krebs, R.R. (2015). How dominant narratives rise and fall: military conflict, politics, and the Cold War consensus. International Organization, 69(4), 809-845. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0020818315000181

Morgan, T.C., Bapat, N.A., & Kobayashi, Y. (2014). Threat and imposition of economic sanctions 1945-2005: Updating the TIES dataset. Conflict Management and Peace Science, 31(5), 541-558. https://doi.org/10.1177/0738894213520379

Pape, R. (1997). Why economic sanctions do not work. International Security, 22, 90-136. https://doi.org/10.1162/isec.22.2.90

Reyes, A. (2011). Strategies of legitimization in political discourse: from words to actions. Discourse & Society, 22(6), 781-807. https://doi.org/10.1177/0957926511419927

Sokolshchik, L., & Sokolshchik, Y. (2023). Why U.S. - Russia relations failed: an analysis of competing national security narratives. Russian Politics, 8(4), 468-492. https://doi.org/10.30965/24518921-00803009

Sokolshchik, L.M. (2024). Year one of the Biden Administration: U.S. foreign policy towards Russia. Journal of Eurasian Studies, 15(1), 70-80. https://doi.org/10.1177/18793665231170639

van Dijk, T.A. (2001). Critical discourse analysis. In D. Schriffin, D. Tannen, & H.E. Hamilton (Ed.), The Handbook of Discourse Analysis (pp. 352-371). Blackwell Publishers Ltd.

van Leeuwen, T. (2008). Discourse and practice: new tools for critical discourse analysis. New York: Oxford University Press. https://doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195323306.001.0001

Fomin, I.V. (2014). Representations of state formations in political discourse analysis (the case of Kosovo). Polis. Political Studies, 2, 124-137. (In Russ.) https://doi.org/10.17976/jpps/2014.02.09

Matytsina, M.S. (2019). Critical discourse analysis: theoretical and methodological approaches. Science Journal of Volgograd State University. Linguistics, 18(3), 206-216. (In Russ.) https://doi.org/10.15688/jvolsu2.2019.3.17

Sokolshchik, L., & Suslov, D. (2022). Prospects for US-Russia relations under Biden administration. Ideological and political dimensions. International Trends, 20(1), 148-165. (In Russ.) https://doi.org/10.17994/IT.2022.20.1.68.8

Timofeev, I.N. (2018). Economic sanctions as a concept of power politics. MGIMO Review of International Relations, 2, 26-42. (In Russ.) https://doi.org/10.24833/2071-8160-2018-2-59-26-42

 Timofeev, I.N. (2023). Policy of sanctions in a changing world: theoretical reflection. Polis. Political Studies, 2, 103-119. (In Russ.) https://doi.org/10.17976/jpps/2023.02.08 

Content No. 3, 2024

See also:


Malinova O.Yu.,
The Official Historical Narrative as a Part of Identity Policy of the Russian State: From the 1990s to the 2000s. – Polis. Political Studies. 2016. No6

Malinova O.Yu., Karpich Yu.V., Gurin M.Iu.,
Commemorating the August 1991 coup d’état: documentaries as tools of constructing memories of the political event. – Polis. Political Studies. 2023. No6

Reut O.Ch.,
Adjectives of Sovereignty. Sovereignty as an Adjective. – Polis. Political Studies. 2007. No3

Svirchevskii D.A., Fomin I.V.,
Images of Europe in the discourse of German left- and right-wing populists: between solidarity Europe and fortress Europe. – Polis. Political Studies. 2023. No2

Potapov V.Ya.,
National and international security: political and military aspects. – Polis. Political Studies. 2015. No1

 

   

Introducing an article



Polis. Political Studies
4 2008


Gadzhiev K.S.
Westernization or a Special Way of Modernization?

 The article text
 

Archive

   2024      2023      2022      2021   
   2020      2019      2018      2017      2016   
   2015      2014      2013      2012      2011   
   2010      2009      2008      2007      2006   
   2005      2004      2003      2002      2001   
   2000      1999      1998      1997      1996   
   1995      1994      1993      1992      1991