Date of Award
Master of Science (MS)
School of Communication
Joseph P. Zompetti
In this thesis, I present a Gramscian rhetorical reading of American antagonism to the International Criminal Court, a crucial agency of the UN. I probed the rhetoric of power in resistance concerning the discourse of international treaties by showing how both the United States and the United Nations have become global hegemons. From the foregoing, I uncover American resistance to the constitutive force of United Nations treaties by paying attention to post-Cold War American presidents. By using a neo-Marxist lens and analyzing a key foreign policy accord – the International Criminal Court – that spans the presidencies of Clinton, Bush, Obama, and Trump, I locate how the United States offered conflicting foreign policy visions, particularly concerning resistance to international treaties. I contend that the United States, through its post-Cold War presidents, resists UN treaties because of their “common sensical” nature, their constitutive force, and ideological imbalance with the global hegemonic power of the United States. I conclude that U.S. hegemonic retreat from international agreements does not translate to mean U.S authority wanes; but ultimately, a rhetorical ploy to solidify its powerful status globally to become “a shining city on the hill” for other countries by disentangling its interests from a competing hegemon like the United Nations (Bulmer-Thomas, 2018).
Aboagye, Divine Narkotey, "“When Two Elephants Fight, It’s the Ground That Suffers ”: a Neo- Marxist Rhetorical Deconstruction of the United States’ Rhetoric of Power in Resistance to United Nations Treaties" (2020). Theses and Dissertations. 1265.