The Dynamics of ‘Pacifism’ and ‘Warmongering’: The Denial of Stake in Debates Preceding the 2003 Invasion of Iraq

  • Joseph BurridgeEmail author
Part of the Peace Psychology Book Series book series (PPBS)


Discursive Psychology, in its multiple forms, has long been interested in issues relating to categorization, especially in terms of the ways in which it can undermine the legitimacy of a speaker’s contribution on the basis that they have a ‘stake’ or interest in the matter at hand (Edwards & Potter, 1992). Drawing upon data from the British public debate preceding the 2003 invasion of Iraq, this chapter considers how contributors to debate resisted the possibility of being categorized in particular ways that would be unhelpful to their cause. In a manner of direct interest to peace psychology, for those arguing against the proposed invasion of Iraq, it was important to avoid being viewed as ‘pacifists’, and for those in favour of military action, it was important to avoid being seen as ‘warmongers’.


Discursive psychology Iraq war Pacifism Peace psychology Stake and interest 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of PortsmouthPortsmouthUK

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