The impacts of anti-terrorism on citizenship
in Anti-terrorism, citizenship and security
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This chapter explores the impact of British anti-terrorism powers on experiences of citizenship within the United Kingdom. It argues that citizens from a range of ethnic minority backgrounds believe anti-terrorism measures have directly diminished their citizenship. This goes beyond simple infringements of rights, to include a retreat from political engagement, a declining sense of identification with British citizenship, and a lessening sense of obligations owed to the UK and one’s fellow citizens. This is in contrast to white individuals who, whilst not untroubled about the impact of these measures, generally viewed this as distanced from their everyday lives. This suggests that anti-terrorism measures may be contributing to a condition of “disconnected citizenship” in the UK. Some individuals enjoy greater confidence in their rights, appear relatively unaffected in terms of their participation and identity, and are content to take up particular duties. For others, in contrast, the perception of diminished rights and targeting by the state contributes to the limiting of political engagement and a declining sense of belonging. The chapter concludes by pointing to several important examples of resistance toward such powers and their impacts. This, it argues, speaks to an exercise of political agency even amongst those who believe themselves targeted by such measures, as well as to the continuing importance of citizenship itself.

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