Foreign policy discourses of the United States and Iran regarding the Syrian Civil War, 2011-2015 : a thesis presented in fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Politics at Massey University, Manawatū, New Zealand

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This thesis offers a detailed and systemic analysis of the recent foreign policies on Syria crafted by the United States and Iran. In particular, it identifies the major ways in which key institutions from both countries’ political systems represent various aspects of the Syrian civil war before comparing the similarities and differences among these representational practices. It argues that, between 2011 and 2015, both countries’ foreign policies used humanitarian concern in order to legitimise their respective postures on Syria, though the pursuit of their respective national interests widened the scope for new opportunities to act, including the use of armed force, in the Middle East. Drawing on Norman Fairclough’s model of Critical Discourse Analysis as a means of framing its analysis, the thesis finds that diplomatic language expressing views on matters of war and peace is seldom a-political and can be shaped significantly by institutional practices and socio-cultural contexts.
Syria, History, Civil War, 2011-, United States, Iran, Foreign relations