Cascading simulation: A critical perspective on Barack Obama‘s foreign policy during the 2008 presidential election
Master of Arts in Communication Studies
First Committee Member
Joseph Valenzano, Chair
Second Committee Member
Third Committee Member
Graduate Faculty Representative
Number of Pages
Entering the 2008 presidential election, Barack Obama had little to no foreign policy experience. On face, this would seem to make Obama an unlikely choice for President. Yet, he was able to defeat Hilary Clinton and John McCain, the two candidates with significant foreign policy experience. My thesis examines Barack Obama's speech "A World That Stands as One" as a case study for understanding how simulation operates in the context of presidential campaigns. Using Robert Entman's theory of "cascading activation," I develop a theory of "cascading simulation," arguing that image construction descends downward from the president through the media. In order to make this argument, I examine the text of the speech itself, the CNN broadcast of the event, and then newspaper recounts of the event in the New York Times and Agence France Presse. As a result, these three levels of interpretation work together to simulate foreign policy experience.
2008 campaign; Campaign speeches; Cascading activation; Framing; International relations; Obama; Barack; Political oratory; Presidential campaign; Presidential rhetoric; Presidents — Election; Rhetoric — Political aspects; United States
Communication | Political Science | Social Influence and Political Communication | Social Psychology and Interaction | Sociology
University of Nevada, Las Vegas
Beier, Ian P., "Cascading simulation: A critical perspective on Barack Obama‘s foreign policy during the 2008 presidential election" (2010). UNLV Theses, Dissertations, Professional Papers, and Capstones. 855.
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