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The emergence of a security discipline in the post 9-11 discourse of US security organisations

Hunter, Duncan; MacDonald, Malcolm


Malcolm MacDonald


This paper explores two views of the changes that have occurred in the US security services as a result of their post 9/11 reform. The first is Bigo’s (2008) suggestion that agencies worldwide have become enmeshed in shared activity so as to constitute a new ‘field of (in)security’. A second, novel perspective is that the security services have evolved many of the characteristics of a discipline or (after Foucault, 1972) ‘discursive formation’, constructing intelligence both as a form of expertly constituted knowledge and as the basis for a new type of professional, disciplinary power. The investigation combines corpus techniques with other discourse analysis procedures to examine a corpus of public-facing texts generated by the US security agencies. The investigation aims to synthesise evidence consistent with both views of the security services’ recent historical change; that features of their discourse signal their emergence simultaneously as a new field and discursive formation.


Hunter, D., & MacDonald, M. (2017). The emergence of a security discipline in the post 9-11 discourse of US security organisations. Critical Discourse Studies, 14(2), 206-222.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jul 25, 2016
Online Publication Date Jan 11, 2017
Publication Date Jan 11, 2017
Deposit Date Sep 5, 2016
Publicly Available Date Jul 13, 2018
Journal Critical discourse studies
Print ISSN 1740-5904
Electronic ISSN 1740-5912
Publisher Routledge
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 14
Issue 2
Pages 206-222
Keywords CDA; Corpus analysis; Discourse; Security; FBI; CIA; Foucault
Public URL
Publisher URL
Copyright Statement ©2018 University of Hull
Additional Information This is the accepted manuscript of an article published in Critical discourse studies, 2017. The version of record is available at the DOI link in this record.


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