Chapter 3 will consider how Conservative strategy towards opposing and
undermining Labour evolved during the Cameron era. The chapter will
demonstrate how initially when in opposition, the Conservatives set about
nullifying the ‘investment under Labour or cuts under the Conservatives’
narrative, which had been so successful for New Labour and Blair in the era
of economic prosperity between 1997 and 2007. It will then identify how, in
the aftermath of the financial crash, Cameron abandoned this strategy of
converging on Labour to neutralise the economy as an electoral issue. The
chapter will then explore how the Conservatives set about establishing their
narrative of the financial crash – i.e. it was the fault of a profligate
Labour government. Apportioning blame was thus central to electoral strategy
in 2010, and establishing risk about Labour regaining power was central to
electoral strategy in 2015. The chapter will also identify how, alongside
emphasising perceptions of economic competence, Conservative strategy also
came to revolve around emphasising perceptions of leadership credibility, as
Cameron was seen by voters as a more credible political leader than either
Brown or Miliband.
Chapter 4 builds upon the discussion in chapter 3 which had focused on
economic decline under Labour and how the Conservatives attempted to exploit
this. Chapter 4 will identify how this was aligned to a wider critique of
Labour based around social decline. It will consider how the broken economic
and social policy agendas of Labour were used by the Conservatives to
justify a shift away from Big Government, and towards their new governing
strategy of the Big Society. The chapter will provide a critique of the Big
Society, and the cynicism it provoked within Conservative ranks, before
arguing that it should be seen within the context of depoliticisation.
Chapter 4 will imply that the Big Society slogan was a rhetorical device for
Cameron – i.e. it masked an ideologically motivated strategy to adjust the
balance between the state and society. Therefore, chapter 4 will argue that
the Big Society narrative should be seen within the context of (a) shifting
public expectations of what the state should be responsible for, and (b)
limiting the extent to which the state can be blamed.
Chapter 2 considers the modernisation of the Conservative Party under Cameron
from an internal perspective, focusing in on the politics of detoxification.
It considers the extent to which change within the Conservative Party
occurred under Cameron. The term detoxification reflects the perception that
the Conservative brand was toxic, and that electoral recovery was dependent
on distancing themselves from the negatives that had disfigured them in the
post-Thatcherite era. The chapter will chart how Cameron set about (a)
restyling the image of party by the promotion of a socially liberal brand of
Conservatism; and (b) reconstructing modern Conservatism – or the extent to
which social liberalism was accepted by the PCP. The chapter will argue that
change did occur, but that there were limits to the scale of change that
Cameron could impose upon his party. The chapter will examine the main
themes associated with modernised Conservatism and will argue that their
commitment to these themes, once in government, was patchy and inconsistent.
It will, however, emphasise that progress was made in terms of international
aid and same-sex marriage.
This chapter examines the role of emotions in securitisation theory and first
provides an overview of how emotions are currently integrated in
securitisation studies. The chapter then theorises securitisation as an
affective practice which is affected by the indirectness and remoteness
described in Chapter 5. The chapter also looks at the ways in which gender
and the myth of protection play out in the field of security professionals.
The chapter argues that securitising Islam indirectly sustains the myth of
American innocence and paints America as the ‘true victim’ of 9/11 insofar
as the indirectness removes the affective experience that usually
accompanies securitisation processes. This chapter thus looks at the
securitisation of Islam in an all-encompassing way by adding texture to the
analysis of the securitisation of Islam; that is, by including the role of
the body, affect, emotions and space, which are central to the proliferation
of Islamophobic attitudes in the United States.
This chapter sketches out the contours of the logic of counterterrorism and
argues that it is informed by a rationalist framework, or ‘the logic of
expected consequences’, which reproduces the classical view of sciences.
This chapter then shows that this logic transforms cognitive radicalised
subjects into behavioural terrorists and creates distance and remoteness
between securitisers and securitised subjects. To demonstrate this argument,
the idea of remote securitisation is first unpacked, showing how it is
achieved through the use of metaphors, euphemisation and the logic of
consequences. Finally, the chapter introduces two vantage points to address
the problems created by remoteness, one well established and the other more
radical, from which the classical view collapses: Pierre Bourdieu’s social
and relational ontology and the idea of a Quantum Human.
This chapter summarises and consolidates the principal themes of the book and
rounds up the discussion by proposing new avenues for research – namely,
strengthening the relationship between covert racism, the securitisation of
minority groups and white victimhood, opening up a space for conceptualising
securitisation as an affective practice and theorising the quantum view of
This chapter explores counterterrorism and counter-radicalisation practices
in the United States and operationalises a more sociological approach to
securitisation by looking at security practices themselves. I look at the
everyday practices of security actors at various levels of the security
field: federal (the Department of Homeland Security) and city (the NYPD).
The chapter establishes two types of counterterrorism practice: the ‘hard’
approach and the ‘soft’ approach (referred to as countering violent
extremism), which relies on counter-insurgency tactics. The chapter
investigates cases of police entrapment by security professionals and, in
line with civil liberties unions, offers a critique of the surveillance and
targeting of minority groups for ‘security’ purposes.
This chapter first historicises securitisation theory and situates the theory
in the wider field of international security. It shows that securitisation
theory was innovative in the sense of challenging the state-centricity and
over-militarised nature of international security during the Cold War. The
chapter then proceeds with a brief discourse analysis of speeches made by
George W. Bush and Barack Obama in relation to Islam and the role of Muslims
in the war on terror. It argues that Bush and Obama articulated Islam as a
‘peaceful religion’ and that terrorists ‘hijacked its peaceful teachings’.
Even Donald Trump sought to reassure the American public that his executive
order banning citizens from Muslim-majority countries was ‘not a Muslim
ban’. As a result, the chapter demonstrates that this presents a challenge
to securitisation theory. The last section engages with the burgeoning
post-Copenhagen School literature, which has raised important concerns about
securitisation theory, and concludes by addressing the implications for the
puzzle of the book.
The introduction establishes the puzzle of the study, by questioning how it
is possible for US administrations to securitise Islam with a language of
amity and peacefulness. The chapter reaffirms that while a lot of
anti-Muslim prejudice and racism is overt, studies on averse and covert
racism within the context of the war on terrorism have been more silent. The
chapter illustrates the logic of covert language through the children’s
story ‘No is yes’. The chapter then sets the goals of the book. First, the
book aims to unpack the paradoxes of the securitisation of Islam, which stem
from the contradiction between counterterrorism practices that discriminate
minority groups and living in a society that is averse to racism. The second
goal of the book seeks to theorise the affective process of indirect
securitisations in order to add texture to the analysis of the
securitisation of Islam. The chapter finally situates the study within a
wider body of literature on the role of affect and emotions in the social
sciences, critical counterterrorism studies and quantum theory.
This chapter explains the epistemological and ontological positions of the
book and clarifies the methodology used for this study. The chapter examines
the linguistic turn in the social sciences and establishes the relation
between reality and language. Influenced by the work of Ludwig Wittgenstein,
it argues that language is constitutive of reality and thus matters for how
we understand the world. Second, the chapter excavates the role of language
in securitisation theory to foreground the central argument about linguistic
practice. Lastly, the chapter introduces three key linguistic aspects that
play an important part in the book: strategic narratives, indirect speech
acts and framing Islam as a non-security issue.