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Vulnerability, extremism and
Thomas Martin

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
Thomas Martin

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
Thomas Martin

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
Abstract only
Thomas Martin

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
Thomas Martin

Drawing heavily on the original interviews conducted during the research, this chapter provides a comprehensive account of the history of the Prevent policy. This chapter identifies the key discursive and organisational shifts that have occurred within the development of Prevent, periodising Prevent into three distinct phases: 2001–6; 2007–10; and 2011–15. It demonstrates that the changes to Prevent reflect an underlying debate that sits at the heart of the policy: should Prevent focus on those at imminent risk of radicalisation? Or should the focus be broader, engaging with the ideas and values of communities that may justify and enable violent extremism? A security and an identity strand. The debate between these positions, narrated in the interviews and policy documents, represents the conventional narrative of Prevent, where, at times, the strands are brought together, and at times, it is their separation that is advocated.

in Counter-radicalisation policy and the securing of British identity
Thomas Martin

This chapter demonstrates that the anlaysis of chapter 1 has been, historically, reproduced across much of the academic literature on Prevent. This literature, it will be argued, often sees the ‘solution’ to Prevent as the separation of its security and identity strands. It therefore positions the two strands as ‘separable’, failing to go beyond the questions that the policy itself asks. It can thus be argued that the academic literature, even when critical, has failed to develop an account of Prevent that conceptually grasps the relationship between security and identity established in the policy. This chapter then analyses two approaches to Prevent, emergent within the literature, that provide a means of moving beyond this position: first, an approach that argues Prevent has produced Muslims in the UK as a ‘suspect community’, and second, an approach that argues Prevent represents a strategy of counter-insurgency.

in Counter-radicalisation policy and the securing of British identity
Stopping people
Thomas Martin

This chapter starts to challenge the narrative introduced in chapters 1 and 2, and establishes the central relation within Prevent between security and temporality. It argues that Prevent represents a novel ambition for the state: early intervention into processes of becoming violent. It thus intervenes within conditions of uncertainty, in that it is not certain whether such an individual would go on to participate in violence or any other illegal act. Engaging with the emergent academic literature in this area, the chapter argues that such intervention necessarily acts within conditions of uncertainty. This in turn requires discursive and institutional mechanisms that make such a threat knowable and actionable. The term preclusive is introduced here as a general term that emphasises this relation between security and temporality, making clear that all acts of securing are necessarily productive of a future threat they then preclusively act on to mediate. The chapter then demonstrates how the concept of radicalisation fulfils this function for Prevent, identifying potential future violence in the present.

in Counter-radicalisation policy and the securing of British identity
Abstract only
The evolution of a subject
Nicholas Canny

Nicholas Canny writes on the evolution of Atlantic History from the Cold War era onward. From the 1960s historians such as Jack P. Greene and Edmund S. Morgan challenged Robert Palmer’s Liberal-consensus narrative of the Democratic Revolutions in the Atlantic World. With more research on the Black Atlantic it became clear that the rise of an Atlantic Community had heavily relied on slavery and violence. Economic history further strengthened insights into how the Atlantic empires evolved out of the exploitation of Africans and indigenous peoples in the Americas. Moreover, from the mid-1990s the concept of multiple Atlantics made Atlantic History more transnational in its scope.

in The TransAtlantic reconsidered
Philip D. Morgan

Philip D. Morgan shows in his chapter on ‘Atlantic Studies today’ how in recent years, studies on the early-modern Atlantic World have become global and multi-faceted, giving rise to comparative and entangled histories. Atlantic History tackles themes that are prevalent in twenty-first-century history at large: ecology, port towns and cities, multinational and religious societies, networks, scientific revolutions, families, and the individual.

in The TransAtlantic reconsidered
Transatlantic debates about the Nazi past
Konrad H. Jarausch

Konrad Jarausch analyses the transatlantic cooperation of historians dealing with National Socialism, the Holocaust, and the Second World War. He examines historiography as well as infrastructure, like the building of new institutions and the founding of periodicals. He also traces the way sources were handled and made accessible, from the collection of data for the Nuremberg Trials to digitization projects of the recent decade. How did this affect the writing of history both in central Europe and in the Anglo-American world? He points out that the historical writing which emerged in this particular framework was at once collaborative, implicitly comparative, and decidedly distinctive.

in The TransAtlantic reconsidered