This chapter draws together the previous chapters to establish Prevent as a
form of power that has played a key role in producing and policing
contemporary British identities. It argues that this diagram enacts its own
political geography, producing an account of identities as secure or risky
based upon their coherence, or not, with a ‘British’ identity, and then
seeking to act on those identities produced as alienated from, or outside
of, this ‘normalised Britishness’. Read as an abstract diagram, the power
Prevent mobilises need not be reduced to a focus on Muslim identity, and is
translatable beyond its specific genesis. It then demonstrates the
consequences this function of power has for the expression of politics in
the UK, arguing it radicalises the relation of security and identity in the
UK. In seeking to intervene early, it extends the scope of who must be
secured (as signs of potential to violence must be managed) and who is
responsible for such security (as all must now bear responsibility for
identifying such signs).
This chapter explores the reasons for the state of surprise, sketching them out from the starting point of the significant impact of the collapse of the USSR on Western understandings of Russia. It also explores the practical ramifications for the decline of Russia as a political priority on the wider political stage. The chapter outlines some of the problems of the current mainstream discussion of Russia, which is drowning in a discourse of speculation and rumour, 'Putinology' and historical analogies. Despite the dominance of transitological/regime question approach and the perceived eccentricity of Kremlinology, for many it has remained a truism of Russian political life that the final decisions are made behind the closed doors of the Kremlin. In fact, the collapse of the USSR has had serious ramifications for the study of Russia in the West, resulting in a major reassessment of Soviet studies, often bitter and acrimonious.