En kontingent magtudøvelse: Om Danmarks militære og humanitære engagement i Afghanistan

Jakob Tuborgh

Student thesis: Master thesis

Abstract

Through a poststructuralist approach, this thesis focuses on how the Danish government’s perception of the Taliban movement and the Afghan population is constructed through discourse and how this perception is reflected in the current Danish involvement in Afghanistan. Furthermore, the thesis brings to focus which consequences the Danish involvement has for both the Taliban movement and the Afghan population. Taking our point of departure in a discourse analysis inspired by Ernesto Laclau & Chantal Mouffe, it is analysed how the Danish government through discourse constructs the Taliban movement in antagonistic terms, while the Afghan population is constructed in agonistic terms. Both identities are constructed relationally to the identity of the Danish government, which makes the latter’s perception of these players contingent. Nevertheless, the thesis renders probable that the Danish involvement in Afghanistan is carried out on the basis of this perception of the Taliban and the Afghan. This is done through an analysis of power relations inspired by Michel Foucault. Apart from rendering the above-mentioned correlation probable, this approach is applied to analyse the Danish involvement’s consequences for the Taliban and the Afghans in general. It is concluded that the Danish government exerts sovereign power, i.e. armed force, on the Taliban movement on the basis of the antagonistic relation mentioned above. On the other hand, the Danish government exercises disciplinary power, biopolitics and governmentality on the afghan population as a result of the agonistic relation to this player. This means, that the Danish government attempts to structure the possible field of action of the Afghans through specific capacity building and information campaigns, promotion of human rights, and disciplinary approaches to increase public sector productivity among other things. On the basis of these conclusions, the Danish involvement is characterized as being contingent.

EducationsMSocSc in Political Communication and Managment, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
LanguageDanish
Publication date2009
Number of pages83