Semiotic Superpower



On the eve of Ronald Reagan’s 1980 presidential election victory, the ideal-as-image that is the ‘American Dream’ appeared tattered and tarnished. As we have seen in the previous chapter, a succession of events at home and abroad suggested that the picture of the ‘American Age’ was fading. The heartland of freedom and capitalism was in despair laid low by rising unemployment, factory closures and headlines of Government bail-outs for stricken flagships of American enterprise. Internationally, America was humbled by zealots in Iran as American hostages were ruthlessly exploited by their captors to taunt the ‘Great Satan’. In Africa, the ‘West’ appeared to have suffered reverses at the hands of the Soviet Union and its Cuban proxy. In North Asia, Soviet troops had moved into neighbouring Afghanistan. Jimmy Carter’s agenda of economic renewal at home and the pursuit of human rights, superpower détente and reduced military tensions abroad not only appeared to have ended in dismal failure but, indeed, appeared to have aggravated economic decline, undermined America’s international credibility and jeopardised the nation’s security.


Saudi Arabia Foreign Policy Security Council World Identity American Government 
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Copyright information

© Neil Renwick 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centre for Asia-Pacific StudiesThe Nottingham Trent UniversityUK

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