Crossing the temporal gap
Vulnerability, extremism and
in Counter-radicalisation policy and the securing of British identity
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This chapter demonstrates that Prevent produces an account of future violence by discursively producing certain performances of identity as ‘vulnerable’ to radicalisation due to their alienation from ‘Britishness’ and ‘British values’. It is therefore through understanding and ordering identities in the present that processes of becoming violent in the future can be conceptualised and intervened into. Analysed through a post-structuralist framework, this discursive positioning can be understood as a set of productive practices; it is through the security act that alienation from ‘Britishness’ is made manifest. ‘Britishness’ and ‘British values’ are thus produced as secure and securing; they are normalised, while that which is produced as external is rendered threatening and, therefore, in need of intervention. Prevent, therefore, establishes a boundary between those identities deemed secure, those that are contained within a ‘normalised Britishness’, and those deemed threatening, on account of the potential they may contain. The problematic of Prevent therefore brings together questions of temporality, security and identity, producing and then securing the threat of the future through an analysis of performances of identity in the present.


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