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Open Access Publications from the University of California

The New Militarism, Global Terrorism, and the American University: Making Sense of the Assault on Democracy “Here, There, Somewhere”


This paper examines the ways in which the Bush administration and its allies have targeted the American university as part of a broad assault on democracy. The author maintains that the administration has used the tragic events of September 11 to strike fear in the American people for the purposes of formulating a more aggressive militarization both home and abroad. This “New Militarism” justifies two particular positions with regard to the relationship between the Bush administration and the nation’s universities. First, and because of the potential for criticism to arise from within the walls of the university, the Bush administration and its allies have sought to limit such critiques through a variety of actions and policies. Second, the Bush administration and its supporters have been intent on strengthening the already strong ties between the American university and the U.S. military industrial complex, including the Department of Defense. These two broad assaults have resulted in further deterioration to the American university’s democratic potential and its ability to advance a more just world.

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