Introduction This study contends that when the Irish security and intelligence agencies were ordered to re-evaluate national security policy after 9/11 they did so in an atmosphere of heightened financial and political pressures on their organisations. Serious policy weaknesses occurred. Furthermore, several problems of policy persist. In Chapter 3 , the findings of

in Re-evaluating Irish national security policy

2 ‘9/11’ and the noise of contemporary fiction In November 2013, Manhattan resident Kenny Cummings sent an email of inquiry to his local newspaper. ‘Have you ever heard from neighbors about the wailing World Trade Center?’, he wrote, claiming that an ‘eerie sound’ could be heard a couple of blocks away from the newly constructed building of One World Trade Center.1 When the email was published, many Tribeca residents confirmed that the sound was real by posting comments and uploading videos of the tower’s ‘wailing’ to YouTube. ‘It’s all the screams of those

in The quiet contemporary American novel
Abstract only
Hawthorne, Ligotti, and the Absent Center of the Nation-State

Although composed before 9/11, Nathaniel Hawthorne‘s My Kinsman, Major Molineux and Thomas Ligotti‘s The Shadow at the Bottom of the World are both prescient in their critique of the impulse of American communities following 9/11 to monumentalise and concretise the nation-state and in particular the remains at Ground Zero. In this essay I discuss Ground Zero as a suggestive trope for the illusiveness of the nation as an imagined community. These complementary Gothic short stories operate as allegory and offer a way of reading how patriotic communities cohered around what remained at Ground Zero and (re)produced it as a site of patriotic performance. A new Gothic trait in our age of terror(ism) is the anxiety over the absence of a stable centre that anchors national continuity. This article places these short stories in conversation with Benedict Anderson,,Étienne Balibar and other theorists who engage critiques of nation-building in order to draw out what is Gothic about the nation-state and to further substantiate how 9/11 revealed the nation-state as a principally Gothic phenomenon.

Gothic Studies
Abstract only
Post-9/11 Aesthetics of Uncertainty in PlayDead‘s Limbo (2010)

This paper explores the Gothic videogame Limbo (PlayDead, 2010) in terms of an aesthetic and conceptual precariousness and preoccupation with uncertainty that, I suggest, are particularly associated with the traumatic legacy of 9/11. It engages with Judith Butler s post-9/11 reflections in her work Precarious Life: The Powers of Mourning and Violence (2004) on the loss of presumed safety and security in the First World. From here, she expresses the potential for shared experiences of vulnerability to inaugurate an ethics of relationality, without recourse to investment in systems of security. I then contrast this with an alternative critical trajectory that emphasises the use-value of such systems over a desire for moral purity. This critical framework is considered in relation to the treatment of vulnerability in Limbo, through its construction of a dialogic relationship between its diegetic game-world and the formal structure of its game-system. The former is found to articulate a pervasive experience of uncertainty, whilst the latter provides a sense of security. I draw upon psychoanalyst D. W. Winnicott‘s theories of play and creative living to argue that the tension between game-world and game-system in Limbo creates a model of how uncertainty can be dwelt with, through a precarious balance between the use of systems of security and disengagement from them.

Gothic Studies
Affordable threats?

On the afternoon of September 11 2001 the Irish Prime Minister (Taoiseach), Bertie Ahern ordered the ‘heads of the security services of key government departments’ to undertake a complete re-evaluation of measures to protect the state from attack. Hence, underway within hours of the 9/11 outrage in the United States was potentially the most far-reaching review of Irish national security in decades. This book, an academic investigation of Irish national security policy as it has operated since 9/11, provides a theoretically informed analysis of that re-evaluation and the decisions that were taken as a consequence of it up until September 2008. In so doing, it draws on unprecedented access to Ireland's police, security and intelligence agencies; over twenty senior personnel agreed to be interviewed. Questions are raised over the effectiveness of the Irish agencies, the relative absence of naval and airborne defence and the impact on national security of the policy imperative to transform the Defence Forces, particularly the army, for more robust missions overseas. The book also considers the securitisation of Irish immigration policy and the apparent absence of a coherent integration policy despite international evidence suggesting the potential for radicalisation in socially marginalised western communities. Theoretically, the book demonstrates the utility to the analysis of national security policy of three conceptual models of historical institutionalism, governmental politics and threat evaluation.

Covert racism and affect in the United States post-9/11

‘I am the least racist person,’ Donald Trump declared. This book unpacks how it is possible for various American administrations to impose discriminatory counterterrorism (CT) and countering violent extremism (CVE) measures on Muslim communities and yet declare that ‘Islam is peace’ or that ‘Muslims are our friends’. The book addresses some of the paradoxes of the securitisation by linking discourses about the role of Muslims in the war on terror in the United States with covert forms of racism. The book is concerned with a securitisation that is covertly rather than overtly expressed, which enables securitising actors like Trump to deny plausibility of racism and claim that they are ‘the least racist person’. The book offers a critique of the ‘soft’ and ‘hard’ approaches to CT and CVE and advances an alternative way to understand radicalisation and terrorism by introducing a quantum perspective. Lastly, drawing on the affective turn, the book adds body to the analysis by theorising emotions and affect in the securitisation of Islam. The book argues that this covert securitisation constructs white American subjects as innocent, unprejudiced and living in a post-racial society averse to racism, whilst constructing Muslim subjects as potential terrorists and thus as sites of securitisation. This book is a timely analysis of the securitisation of Islam since 9/11 and presents an original study that contributes to debates on Islamophobia, white fragility and white victimhood, which have proliferated since the rise of far-right (populist) parties in Europe and the US.

Abstract only
Found Footage Cinema and the Horror of the Real

This article examines the post-millennial popularity of the found footage movie, in particular its engagement with the representational codes of non-fiction media. Whilst the majority of critical writings on found footage identify the 11 September attacks on the World Trade Centre as a key visual referent, they too often dwell on the literal re-enactment of the event. This article instead suggests that these films evoke fear by mimicking the aesthetic and formal properties of both mainstream news coverage and amateur recording. As such they create both ontological and epistemological confusion as to the reality of the events depicted. Rather than merely replicating the imagery of terror/ism, these films achieve their terrifying effects by mimicking the audiences media spectatorship of such crisis.

Gothic Studies
Abstract only
Power, form and subjectivity

This book explores how issues of power, form and subjectivity feature at the core of all serious thinking about the media, including appreciations of their creativity as well as anxiety about the risks they pose. Drawing widely on an interdisciplinary literature, the author connects his exposition to examples from film, television, radio, photography, painting, web practice, music and writing in order to bring in topics as diverse as reporting the war in Afghanistan, the televising of football, documentary portrayals of 9/11, reality television, the diversity of taste in the arts and the construction of civic identity. The book is divided into two parts. In the first part, three big chapters on each of the key notions provide an interconnected discussion of the media activities opened up for exploration and the debates they have provoked. The second part presents examples, arguments and analysis drawing on the author's previous work around the core themes, with notes placing them in the context of the whole book. The book brings together concepts both from Social Studies and the Arts and Humanities, addressing a readership wider than the sub-specialisms of media research. It refreshes ideas about why the media matter, and how understanding them better remains a key aim of cultural inquiry and a continuing requirement for public policy.

Mobilising the concept of strategic culture, this study develops a framework for understanding developments in German security policy between 1990 and 2003. Germany's contemporary security policies are characterised by a peculiar mix of continuity and change. From abstention in the first Gulf war, to early peacekeeping missions in Bosnia in the early 1990s and a full combat role in Kosovo in 1999, the pace of change in German security policy since the end of the Cold War has been breathtaking. The extent of this change has recently, however, been questioned, as seen most vividly in Berlin's response to ‘9/11’ and its subsequent stalwart opposition to the US-led war on terrorism in Iraq in 2003. Beginning with a consideration of the notion of strategic culture, the study refines and adapts the concept to the case of Germany through a consideration of aspects of the rearmament of West Germany. It then critically evaluates the transformation of the role of the Bundeswehr up to and including the war on terrorism, together with Germany's troubled efforts to enact defence reforms, as well as the complex politics surrounding the policy of conscription. By focusing on both the ‘domestics’ of security policy decision making as well as the changing and often contradictory expectations of Germany's allies, this book provides a comprehensive analysis of the role played by Germany's particular strategic culture in shaping policy choices. It concludes by pointing to the vibrancy of Germany's strategic culture.

The possibility of a pan-European approach

Can Russia, the European Union and the three major EU member states adopt a unified policy line in the global arena? This book investigates the cohesiveness of ‘greater Europe’ through the detailed scrutiny of policy statements by the leadership elites in the UK, France, Germany, Russia and the EU in connection with three defining events in international security. The crisis in Kosovo of 1999; the terrorist attacks of 9/11 and the Iraq crisis of 2003. This extensive empirical enquiry results in a critical constructivist response to neorealist understandings of European security. The book contrasts the EU's new way of ‘doing security’ with the established, competitive bilateral interplay in the European security sphere and provides a clue to the kind of security politics that will prevail in Europe. A joint Moscow Brussels approach would improve the chances of both increasing their relative strength vis-a-vis the USA, but serious cleavages threaten to undermine such a ‘greater European’ common view on security. The book considers the extent to which the major European players pursue similar objectives, and assesses the possible implications for and the chances of greater Europe emerging as a cohesive global actor.