Terrorism: some moral
aspects and variables
The question of ‘who’ exercises force is often neglected in studies
of terrorism. As we have seen, the generic concept of terrorism
excludes it and concentrates instead on the question of ‘what is
done to whom’. Here the status of the subject or agent who employs
force (unlike that of the object or target of attack) is of marginal
interest and relevance. It is what the subject does, not who the
subject is, that is of primary moral interest and concern. But is the
status of the agent of so little importance? How can
, including 88 Australians, have been killed in Kuta on the Indonesian island of Bali on 12 October 2002; 191 people were killed in the Madrid bombing of 11 March 2004; and the terrorist attack of 7 July 2005 in London killed 52 people.
Why wage war against these terrorists? Offhand, one might think that such a grand response to terrorism is undeserved. This thought is supported by comparisons with other threats to our life and well-being – cardiovascular disease and cancer, for instance, annually kill some 250,000 and 150,000 people, respectively, in the U.K. alone
This book explores how different publics make sense of and evaluate anti-terrorism powers within the UK, and the implications of this for citizenship and security. Since 9/11, the UK’s anti-terrorism framework has undergone dramatic changes, including with the introduction of numerous new pieces of legislation. Drawing on primary empirical research, this book examines the impact of these changes on security and citizenship, as perceived by citizens themselves. We examine such impacts on different communities within the UK, and find that generally, whilst white individuals were not unconcerned about the effects of anti-terrorism, ethnic minority citizens (and not Muslim communities alone) believe that anti-terrorism measures have had a direct, negative impact on various dimensions of their citizenship and security. This book thus offers the first systematic engagement with ‘vernacular’ or ‘everyday’ understandings of anti-terrorism policy, citizenship and security. Beyond an empirical analysis of citizen attitudes, it argues that while transformations in anti-terrorism frameworks impact on public experiences of security and citizenship, they do not do so in a uniform, homogeneous, or predictable manner. At the same time, public understandings and expectations of security and citizenship themselves shape how developments in anti-terrorism frameworks are discussed and evaluated. The relationships between these phenomenon, in other words, are both multiple and co-constitutive. By detailing these findings, this book adds depth and complexity to existing studies of the impact of anti-terrorism powers. The book will be of interest to a wide range of academic disciplines including Political Science, International Relations, Security Studies and Sociology.
This edited collection surveys how non-Western states have responded to the threats of domestic and international terrorism in ways consistent with and reflective of their broad historical, political, cultural and religious traditions. It presents a series of eighteen case studies of counterterrorism theory and practice in the non-Western world, including countries such as China, Japan, India, Pakistan, Egypt and Brazil. These case studies, written by country experts and drawing on original-language sources, demonstrate the diversity of counterterrorism theory and practice and illustrate that how the world ‘sees’ and responds to terrorism is different from the way that the United States, the United Kingdom and many European governments do. This volume – the first ever comprehensive account of counterterrorism in the non-Western world – will be of interest to students, scholars and policymakers responsible for developing counterterrorism policy.
This book is about the public language of the 'war on terrorism' and the way in which language has been deployed to justify and normalise a global campaign of counter-terrorism. It explains how the war on terrorism has been reproduced and amplified by key social actors and how it has become the dominant political narrative in America today, enjoying widespread bipartisan and popular support. The book also explains why the language of politics is so important and the main methodological approach for analysing the language of counter-terrorism, namely, critical discourse analysis. Then, it provides the comparison drawn between the September 11, 2001 attacks and World War II and the attack on Pearl Harbor. One of the most noticeable aspects of the language surrounding the attacks of September 11, 2001 is its constant reference to tragedy, grievance and the exceptional suffering of the American people. The book focuses on the way in which language was deployed to construct the main identities of the protagonists. It demonstrates how terrorism is rhetorically constructed as posing a catastrophic threat to the American 'way of life', to freedom, liberty and democracy and even to civilisation itself. The book analyses how the administration's counter-terrorism campaign has been rhetorically constructed as an essentially 'good' and 'just war', similar to America's role in World War II. Finally, the book concludes that responsible citizens have a moral duty to oppose and resist the official language of counter-terrorism.
This book is about the language of the European Union’s response to the threat of terrorism: the ‘fight against terrorism’. Since its re-emergence in the wake of the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, the ‘fight against terrorism’ has come to represent a priority area of action for the European Union (EU). Drawing on interpretive approaches to International Relations, the author outlines a discourse theory of identity and counter-terrorism policy in order to explore the ways in which the EU’s counter-terrorism discourse has been constructed and the ways in which it functions. Importantly, the author shows how the ‘fight against terrorism’ structures the EU response to terrorism through the prism of identity, drawing our attention to the various ‘others’ that have come to form the target of EU counter-terrorism policy. Through an extensive analysis of the wider societal impact of the EU’s ‘fight against terrorism’ discourse, the author reveals the various ways in which EU counter-terrorism policy is contributing to the ‘securitisation’ of social and political life within Europe.
The authors investigate the timing of insurgents’ use of terrorism within the context of wider-scale warfare. Unlike the great wars found in modern history, the dominant form of warfare in recent years has become internal. The main actors are non-state groups seeking to replace an existing political order through violent means. Terrorism, especially indiscriminate attacks on unarmed civilians, has been an important component of these groups’ tactical repertoires. The purpose of this study is to explore variations in the timing of insurgents’ use of terrorism within the context of war. The authors draw on the largely separate literatures on terrorism and warfare as well as complementary sources of data on terrorist events, insurgent groups, and various forms of armed conflict. The product of this analysis is a mapping of the frequencies of terrorist attacks over time and the identification of these attacks as occurring during the beginning, middle, or ending stages of wider-scale warfare. This is followed by in-depth discussions of the insurgent groups whose use of terrorism matches each of these patterns as well as the contexts within which these groups operate. Readers of this book will include students, scholars, policy-makers, members of the military, and the general public.
This book analyses the evolving Anglo-American counter-terror propaganda strategies that spanned the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, as well as reconstruction, between 2001 and 2008. It offers insights into the transformation beyond this period, tracking many key developments as much as possible up to the time of writing (2013) and providing a retrospective on the 'war on terror'. Using empirical data located within multiple spheres, the book draws on sociology, political science and international relations, developing an interdisciplinary analysis of political communication in the international system. It shows how media technologies presented legal, structural and cultural problems for what were seen as rigid propaganda systems defined by their emergence in an old media system of sovereign states with stable target audiences. Propaganda successes and advances were an inconsistent by-product both of malfunction and of relationships, cultures and rivalries, both domestically and between the partners. The differing social relations of planners and propagandists to wider society create tensions within the 'machine', however leaders may want it to function. The book demonstrates that the 'messy' nature of bureaucracy and international systems as well as the increasingly fluid media environment are all important in shaping what actually happens. In a context of initial failures in formal coordination, the book stresses the importance of informal relationships to planners in the propaganda war. This situated Britain in an important yet precarious position within the Anglo-American propaganda effort, particularly in Iraq.
On defining terrorism
Unsurprisingly perhaps, most ethical studies of terrorism centre
on the ius in bello issue of non-combatant immunity. And yet in the
chapter of this book devoted to that principle (Chapter 8) there is
no mention of terrorism in its conventional sense. Instead the focus
of that chapter is on the potential and actual violation of the principle by states in interstate warfare. Given the devastating record of
states in this regard, this does not seem inappropriate. Elsewhere in
the first edition, discussion of terrorism was brief and
Pakistan has achieved a number of important successes in its bid to curb domestic terrorism. 1 Some analysts have described the country's counterterrorism struggle as a success attributed to the predominant role of the military. 2 Indeed, the degree of security produced by the military-led counterterrorism (CT) campaign is noteworthy; it is equally true that this effort has concomitantly been subverted by other important actors in the social and political arena. 3 The prevailing environment can be conceptually termed as an