En nødvendig indgriben

Rune Køhler & Simon Villaume

Student thesis: Master thesis


Since the turn of the millennium Danish political decision makers have shown an increase in activist foreign policy. Hence Danish Armed Forces have been deployed to three different conflicts within just ten years. By analyzing the political communication that took place in the Danish Parliament surrounding motions B37, B118, and B89 this thesis investigates how the decision was made to deploy Danish troops to Afghanistan, Iraq, and Libya. Two different perspectives are presented through two complementing analyses. Initially a semantic analysis applying systems theory as presented by Niklas Luhmann provides an understanding of how the disagreement between political parties appeared in the communication surrounding the three motions. This is done by stratifying the political communication into three meaning dimensions denoted the object, the social, and the temporal dimension which shows how disagreement was present across the three dimensions in motion B37 and B118 while complete agreement was present in relation to B89. The analysis of the temporal dimensions provides a significantly fruitful understanding of how disagreement in relation to the possible future scenarios following the three motions supports a specific type of fear communication. The second analysis thus analyzes how political decision makers made use of fear communication fueling their arguments by painting pictures of a future with increased threats towards Denmark. The fear communication was supported as well as countered by deterministic statements, which is seen as an expression of a prophylactic sense. By combining these findings with the notion of securitization an understanding of how decision makers sought to impact the decision of the three motions leads to the following conclusion as an answer to the question on how the political communication surrounding Motion B37, B118, and B89 lead to the passing of these: (1)The proponents succeeded in securitizing the motions’ reference objects. (2) Through painting a picture of potential future threats the proponents succeeded in arguing that passing the motions would minimize these threats. (3) By presenting deterministic causal chains the proponents succeeded in arguing that military intervention surely would prevent the possible threats.

EducationsMSocSc in Political Communication and Managment, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2013
Number of pages160