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An interview with David Donoghue

This chapter highlights the importance of strategic direction in negotiations and how convergent political positions were created and informed by an ethos of inclusivity. It also looks at the importance of deadlines in a peace process.

in Inside Accounts, Volume II
An interview with Sean Donlon

This chapter explores the period of the Sunningdale Agreement and how the Irish Government sought to influence Sunningdale and deal with its aftermath in the wake of unionist intransigence.

in Inside Accounts, Volume I
An interview with Daithi O’Ceallaigh

This chapter elaborates on the impact of the Anglo-Irish Agreement and how the Irish worked in Belfast to create closer ties with the British by monitoring and assessing policing and justice issues and raising questions about possible discrimination and anti-equality activities.

in Inside Accounts, Volume I
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Identifying individuals who

This chapter analyses how specific individuals who are deemed vulnerable to radicalisation are governed. It articulates Prevent as a targeted, counter-radicalisation programme, most clearly expressed through the Channel project. Channel functions through identifying individuals deemed vulnerable to becoming violent, through identifying the ‘vulnerability indicators’ they display in the present. Channel thus acts as an institutional space to make visible and then intervene into performances of identity that are read as constituting a potential threat. In so doing, it invokes and reworks a pastoral power of care. This power seeks to produce the truth of the individual through interpreting the signs they display in the present. Once identified, intervention is required to bring the individual back to a ‘secure’ identity.

in Counter-radicalisation policy and the securing of British identity
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The concluding chapter returns to the ‘Trojan Horse’ affair, demonstrating how it epitomises the mobilisation of the power identified in the book. The chapter situates Prevent as central to understanding contemporary academic and political debates regarding security, identity, community and the expression of politics in the UK. Further, it locates Prevent as central to an emerging security paradigm that seeks to map and secure the future, and is mobilised outside of traditional security architectures, notably through pastoral forms of power. In doing so, it outlines an analysis and a research agenda that is crucial to understanding the present and future of security policy in the UK.

in Counter-radicalisation policy and the securing of British identity
The politics of Prevent

How can potential future terrorists be identified? Forming one of the four pillars of the United Kingdom’s counter-terrorism strategy CONTEST, Prevent seeks to answer, and act on, this question. Occupying a central role in security debates post-9/11, Prevent is concerned with understanding and tackling radicalisation. It carries the promise of early intervention into the lives of those who may be on a pathway to violence.

This book offers an innovative account of the Prevent policy, situating it as a novel form of power that has played a central role in the production and the policing of contemporary British identity. Drawing on interviews with those at the heart of Prevent’s development, the book provides readers with an in-depth history and conceptualisation of the policy. The book demonstrates that Prevent is an ambitious new way of thinking about violence that has led to the creation of a radical new role for the state: tackling vulnerability to radicalisation. Foregrounding the analytical relationship between security, identity and temporality in Prevent, this book situates the policy as central to contemporary identity politics in the UK. Detailing the history of the policy, and the concepts and practices that have been developed within Prevent, this book critically engages with the assumptions on which they are based and the forms of power they mobilise.

In providing a timely history and analysis of British counter-radicalisation policy, this book will be of interests to students and academics interested in contemporary security policy and domestic responses to the ‘War on Terror’.

Vulnerability, extremism and

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.

in Counter-radicalisation policy and the securing of British identity
Community

This chapter develops an account of how Prevent manages problematic spaces. Notably, this represents the conflation of community cohesion work and Prevent. While community cohesion develops separately to Prevent, a discursive reading of cohesion and Prevent texts show how the two become conjoined as a way of thinking about, and governing, threatening communal environments. Prevent also contains a focus on problematic institutions such as schools and prisons wherein extremism could take hold. Both rely on an analysis that understands an alienation from ‘Britishness’ and ‘British values’ to represent a threat which can be managed by intervening into the spaces in which radicalisation occurs. In order to manage these spaces, a governmental approach is invoked, wherein through intervening into the circulation of identities, it is presumed that less threatening identities can be generated. Yet it also pushes beyond Foucault’s articulation of this modality of power, seeking not just to regulate flows, but to actively intervene to promote ‘British’ identifications.

in Counter-radicalisation policy and the securing of British identity

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).

in Counter-radicalisation policy and the securing of British identity
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The introduction begins by narrating the ‘Trojan Horse’ scandal that engulfed Birmingham education in 2014. Identifying the anxiety surrounding Trojan Horse as being the introduction and intensification of an Islam-informed ethos into the schools, it highlights an analysis which claims this ethos will leave children in these schools ‘vulnerable to radicalisation’, a claim which could not have been made without the development of the Prevent strategy. The book positions this conceptual link drawn between identity, security and temporality as central to Prevent, with the Trojan Horse situated as an exemplar of the function of power that Prevent has mobilised in responding to the problematic of radicalisation, a function of power that the rest of the book will go on to outline. After outlining the key claims made in the book, the introduction then outlines the theoretical and methodological approach taken. It discusses the approach taken to the interviews as well as the Foucauldian concepts of problematisation, assemblage and diagram, outlining how they will be used to shape both the argument and the structure of the book. The introduction then concludes by providing an account of this structure.

in Counter-radicalisation policy and the securing of British identity