The European Union’s fight against terrorism

Discourse, policies, identity

Christopher Baker-Beall
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This book is about the language of the European Union’s response to the threat of terrorism: the ‘fight against terrorism’. Since its re-emergence in the wake of the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, the ‘fight against terrorism’ has come to represent a priority area of action for the European Union (EU). Drawing on interpretive approaches to International Relations, the author outlines a discourse theory of identity and counter-terrorism policy in order to explore the ways in which the EU’s counter-terrorism discourse has been constructed and the ways in which it functions. Importantly, the author shows how the ‘fight against terrorism’ structures the EU response to terrorism through the prism of identity, drawing our attention to the various ‘others’ that have come to form the target of EU counter-terrorism policy. Through an extensive analysis of the wider societal impact of the EU’s ‘fight against terrorism’ discourse, the author reveals the various ways in which EU counter-terrorism policy is contributing to the ‘securitisation’ of social and political life within Europe.

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‘Christopher Baker-Beall's research [is] topical, cogent, and timely.'
Alessandra Russo, Sciences Po Bordeaux
EuropeNow issue 12

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