Legitimering af Danmarks engagement i Afghanistan: Relationen mellem politikernes argumentation, befolkningens opbakning og hændelser

Ann-Christina H. Salquist

Student thesis: Master thesis

Abstract

Shortly after 9/11 2001 a survey was done to determine the Danish population’s opinion about using military force to fight terrorism in conjunction with the United States. 80 % supported military intervention and on the 14th of December 2001 the Danish Government decided to send its first military detachment to Afghanistan to participate in Operation Enduring Freedom. On the 3rd of January 2002 the use of military assets in Afghanistan became real, when the first Danish Soldiers set foot in Afghanistan. Since that day Afghanistan has been a high priority for the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The support from the Danish population has changed throughout the years from 80 % in September 2001 to 39 % in September 2007 and till today, May 2009, being 53 %. More than 20 Danish soldiers have been killed in action in Afghanistan and many have returned from the insurgency injured and mentally scarred. Denmark has been subjected to more terror threats during the last 8 years, compared to the previous 8 years, prior to sending the first soldiers to Afghanistan. The losses, the injured and the threats against Denmark do not seem to have any impact on the support from the population. And if it is not the incidents what is it then? I believe that the different incidents do not have an impact on the support from the population, but more likely I suggest it is the way the politicians, here under the Danish Government, have legitimized Denmark’s involvement in Afghanistan. On that basis I have decided to investigate in the relations between incidents, e.g. soldiers killed in action, the support from the Danish population and the narrative used by the Danish Government legitimizing the Danish involvement in Afghanistan. The problem I have defined for this thesis is: which relation(s) can be seen between the politicians’ use of arguments concerning the legitimizing of the Danish involvement in Afghanistan and the support from the Danish population? The primary aim of this study is to identify the possible discourse changes in the politicians arguments and hold this up against the changes in the support from the Danish population and the incidents that has taken place since 9/11 2001 till 31st of December 2008 in order to be able to see if there exists any relations between these three elements; the politicians arguments (text), the support from the population (social practice), and incidents (social events). To do this, I have chosen Norman Fairclough’s three-dimensional approach to critical discourse analysis.

EducationsMSocSc in Political Communication and Managment, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
LanguageDanish
Publication date2009
Number of pages177