Colleen Boucher

Document Type

Honors Project

First Advisor

Dr. David McQuilkin

Degree Award Date

Spring 2003


worldview, President George W. Bush, Osama bin Laden, U.S. foreign policy, terrorism


American Politics | Defense and Security Studies | International Relations | Political Science | Terrorism Studies


A worldview is fashioned by countless factors that result in a culmination of ideas from which a person draws to make decisions. Certain influential leaders make far-reaching decisions, whether they represent a large government and state or simply a group of loyal followers. September 11, 2001 marks a day when one leader, Osama bin Laden, commanding a group called al-Queda, attacked the United States, eliciting a response from its leader, President George W. Bush. Both men drew from their worldviews to determine their actions and responses to perceived offenses.

While studying contemporary U.S. foreign policy, particularly terrorism, I became fascinated with the examination of how worldviews affect a leader's responses and actions. It is undeniable that cultural ideals, religious influences, and political, social, and historical positions in the world shape the worldviews of world leaders. Especially interesting is a comparison of two battling worldviews.

Two Worldviews In Conflict is a research project that seeks to examine the relationship between the worldviews of President George W. Bush and Osama bin Laden. While the men lead armies in physical combat, their conflicting worldviews cause the war to exist. An examination of cultural ideals, religious influences, and world positions (political, social, historical) defines the worldview of each man. Upon understanding the worldviews it becomes clear that there are numerous similarities between the way George W. Bush and Osama bin Laden view the world and their positions in it. It is the similarities between them that cause the conflict today, making it beneficial to understand the worldviews of Bush and bin Laden and the similarities that plague them.