The ‘affective security curriculum’: breeding JBs through the marriage of the academic and the jingoistic
Affect theory, affective security curriculum, CIA, James Bond, recruitment, ‘terrorism’
How does the US recruit its citizen spies used to maintain and proliferate coercive power? I use an interdisciplinary approach and a framework of affect theory to argue that there is an ‘affective security curriculum’ (ASC) that assists in explaining the tendencies towards jingoism used in the recruitment and indoctrination of students–as future security workers–in certain academic disciplines. The ASC is precisely the phenomenon that works to construct this expert class and is produced by order words, the most crucial of which is ‘terrorism’, as well as larger cultural norms linked to neoliberalism that have achieved near total dominance since the 1980s. The ASC works by intensifying the (in)ability to act for those in its domain. The necessity of linguistically proficient security workers to the US’ hegemonic project makes this a question of considerable political importance. The ASC is a different approach to answering questions of how US hegemony is maintained. Whereas positivist research agendas, such as content analysis, and postpositivist approaches, such as critical discourse analysis, certainly have their uses (and to which my notion of ASC is indebted), paradigms such as these fail to focus on the engendering processes at work vis-à-vis the expert class, without which the discursive frames such methodologies analyse would simply dissipate. My overarching purpose in this paper is to develop the concept of the ASC, its quiddity, and to present at least an incipient methodology for analysing its critical duties. As my primary intent is to introduce and conceptualize the theoretical framework of the affective security curriculum, the applied segment of this endeavour will be relatively brief–and is designed as a primer for further research.
Department of Political Science
Original Publication Date
DOI of published version
UNI ScholarWorks, Rod Library, University of Northern Iowa
Renfro, Evan, "The ‘affective security curriculum’: breeding JBs through the marriage of the academic and the jingoistic" (2017). Faculty Publications. 853.