cover of book
 

Constructing National Interests: The United States and the Cuban Missile Crisis
by Jutta Weldes
University of Minnesota Press, 1999
Cloth: 978-0-8166-3110-0 | Paper: 978-0-8166-3111-7
Library of Congress Classification E841.W45 1999
Dewey Decimal Classification 973.922

ABOUT THIS BOOK | AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY
ABOUT THIS BOOK

Not simply an “event” or merely an “incident,” the 1962 standoff between the U. S. and the Soviet Union over missiles in Cuba was a crisis, which subsequently has achieved almost mythic significance in the annals of United States foreign policy. Jutta Weldes asks why this occurrence in particular should be cast as a crisis, and how this so significantly affected  “the national interest.” Here, Weldes analyzes the so-called Cuban missile crisis as a means to rethink the idea of national interest, a notion central to both the study and practice of international relations.


Why did the presence of Soviet missiles in Cuba constitute a crisis for U.S. state officials and thus a dire threat to U.S. national interests? It was, Weldes suggests, more a matter of discursive construction than of objective facts or circumstances. Drawing on social theory and on concepts from cultural studies, she exposes the “realities” of the crisis as social creations in the service of a particular and precarious U.S. state identity defined within the Cold War U.S. “security imaginary.”


Constructing National Interests shows how this process allowed for a redefining of the identities, interests, and likely actions of various states, so that it seemed to logically serve the U.S. national interest in removing the missiles from Cuba.


Nearby on shelf for United States / Later twentieth century, 1961-2000 / Kennedy's administration, 1961-November 22, 1963: