Whose homeland? The new imperialism, neoliberalism, and the U.S. public sphere

Micaela di Leonardo*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


To whose homeland does the term homeland security refer? How can we characterize the shifts in the U.S. public sphere after 9/11 and then after the retaliatory U.S. wars in Afghanistan and Iraq? We can fi rst note short-versus longer-term phenomena. Directly after the catastrophic attack on U.S. soil, for example, a serious pall fell over even the most brainless, happy-face news programs. As David Harvey writes, “We had three days of noncommercial television. The talking heads of cable TV forgot sex scandals and other stupidities and tried to take the world seriously” (2002, 61). And a new national halo was cast over New York City, momentarily obscuring its notoriety, in a conservative nation, for liberal politics and for its high concentrations of Jews, people of color, and homosexuals. Similarly, male blue-collar workers, not nationally approbated since President Richard Nixon’s attempt in the early 1970s to consecrate them as the Moral Majority, were suddenly thrust into the spotlight as heroes because of the brave actions of New York City fi refi ghters, police, and all the other skilled workers and volunteers at Ground Zero after the Twin Towers fall.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationRethinking America
Subtitle of host publicationThe Imperial Homeland in the 21st Century
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages17
ISBN (Electronic)9781317252870
ISBN (Print)9781594513831
StatePublished - Jan 1 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Social Sciences


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