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Inside the Trumpian Geopolitical Imagination

Part of the The Evolving American Presidency book series (EAP)


In this chapter, Jeremy Kowalski provides an evaluation of the geopolitical imagination of Donald Trump. Through conducting an analysis of the cultural industries of terrorism and Islamophobia in the United States, Kowalski demonstrates how these industries and the state violence they support inform the Trumpian geopolitical imagination. Furthermore, Kowalski discusses the international and domestic implications of the geopolitical worldview of Donald Trump.


  • Geopolitical Imagination
  • Donald Trump
  • Islamic Terrorist Groups
  • Council On American-Islamic Relations (CAIR)
  • Trump Regime

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  • DOI: 10.1007/978-3-319-93179-1_8
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    Whitehouse, “Remarks by President Trump on Iran Strategy,” 2017a October 13.

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    Jason Dittmer Defines the geopolitical imagination in the following terms: “A person’s (or society’s) constellation of taken-for-granted truths about the world and the way in which power should be utilized in that world” (2010, 19). These assumptions about the world and the related projection of power apply both externally and internally.

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    See and [last accessed on 10 January 2018].

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    For a comprehensive analysis of the role of think thanks in the American political system, see: Medvetz, Thomas. 2012. Think Tanks in America. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

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    For a comprehensive list and description of governmental institutes and think tanks and state intellectuals (terrorism experts) that form and support the cultural industry of terrorism see the “terrorism industry” and “terrorologist” categories at (last accessed 11 January 2018).

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    See Laqueur, Walter. The New Terrorism. Fanaticism and the Arms of Mass Destruction. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1999, for an example of an influential terrorism studies “expert” that advances this thesis.

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    The sociologist Paddy Hillyard developed the concept of the “suspect community” to discuss the racist anti-terrorism policies utilized in Britain to target the Irish community. For a discussion that applies this concept to contemporary anti-terrorism policies targeted at Muslim communities, see: Breen-Smyth, Marie. 2014. “Theorizing the “suspect community”: counterterrorism, security practices, and the public imagination.” Critical Studies on Terrorism 7 (2): 223–240.

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    See Apuzzo, Matt and Goldman, Adam. (2013). Enemies Within. Inside the NYPD’s Secret Spying Unit and Bin Laden’s Final Plot Against America. New York: Touchstone, for an example of counter-terrorism practices that targeted Muslim communities in the United States because of these types of fallacious beliefs.

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Kowalski, J. (2019). Inside the Trumpian Geopolitical Imagination. In: Kowalski, J. (eds) Reading Donald Trump. The Evolving American Presidency. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham.

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