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Theoretical issues and local challenges

Recent years have seen the proliferation of discourses surrounding extremism and related terms. Encountering Extremism offers readers the opportunity to interrogate extremism through a plethora of theoretical perspectives, and to explore counter-extremism as it has materialised in plural local contexts. Through offering a critical interrogation along these two planes – the theoretical and the local – Encountering Extremism presents a unique, in-depth and critical analysis of a profoundly important subject. This book seeks to understand, and expose the implications of, a fundamental problematic: how should scholars and strategists alike understand the contemporary shift from counter-terrorism to counter-extremism?

Starting with a genealogical reflection on the discourse and practices of extremism, the book brings together authors examining the topic of extremism, countering extremism and preventing extremism from different theoretical perspectives, such as critical terrorism studies, postcolonialism and gender studies. It then turns to analyses of the specific consequences of this new discourse in international and local contexts such as the United Nations, Nigeria, Tunisia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Spain.

Ontological, epistemological and normative issues
Sondre Lindahl

as preferable to other approaches to violent extremism? Both points are essential to a research agenda which aims at normative action and social change. As such, this chapter begins with an overview of the core commitments of the Critical Terrorism Studies (CTS) research agenda before discussing in detail Weber’s theory of the ideal type. One reason for this focus is the increased attention given to Weber by leading scholars in the field ( Bjørgo and Ravndal, 2019 ). The main reason, however, for this discussion is that Weber’s theory is a potentially fruitful

in Encountering extremism
Abstract only
Sophie Haspeslagh

A logical result of the swift increase in the listing of armed groups as ‘terrorist organisations’ following 9/11 would have been a reduction in the number of settlements negotiated with these targets of proscription. Instead, peace negotiations have continued. The introduction explores this puzzle and argues that there is little understanding of how international proscription affects negotiations and peace processes, and in particular how it affects the process by which conflict parties get to the negotiation table. The chapter draws on conflict and peace literature and critical terrorism studies to situate the book in on-going debates and clarify the terminology used. It goes on to lay out the research design and methodology. The chapter concludes by highlighting the book’s overall argument and giving an overview of the different chapters.

in Proscribing peace
A critical examination of theoretical issues and local challenges
Alice Martini
Kieran Ford
, and
Richard Jackson

Relations. Responding to the call put forward by Critical Terrorism Studies scholars, the volume is aimed at widening the voices and perspectives that have not received enough attention within the mainstream literature ( Jackson et al., 2009 , p. 4). With the intention of enriching the discussion but also the critique of this concept, this volume not only brings together critical and poststructuralist scholars, but also feminist, postcolonial and peace studies academics. Furthermore, the book seeks to transcend the institutional blinkers that focus the bulk of the

in Encountering extremism
Abstract only
Michael J. Boyle

example, connected to separatism or nationalism) suggests quite a bit about whether the government will insist on handling the matter internally or seek out venues for international cooperation. The different interpretations of ‘terrorism’ yielded by the case studies in this volume suggest that terrorism is a contested concept, though not necessarily an essentially contested one. These case studies do not suggest, as some scholars working within the critical terrorism studies (CTS) tradition argue, that actions labelled as ‘terrorism’ bear little in common and

in Non-Western responses to terrorism
Abstract only
Tim Aistrope

’, in R. Jackson, M. B. Smyth and J. Gunning (eds), Critical Terrorism Studies: A New Agenda (Hoboken: Taylor & Francis, 2009). The broader edited volume by Jackson et al . surveys work problematising the orthodox account of terrorism.

in Conspiracy theory and American foreign policy
discourse, argumentation and ritual
Lee Jarvis
Tim Legrand

the capabilities they do’. In the remainder of this chapter, we now briefly situate our efforts to do this within relevant theoretical work on critical security studies, critical terrorism studies, discourse theory and political ritual. This, we show, sets up our analysis of statements, questions, identity claims and parliamentary ritual in the empirical chapters that follow. We end this discussion with a brief discussion of our methodological framework, outlining as explicitly as possible some of the assumptions of, and limitations to, our approach

in Banning them, securing us?
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The language of the European Union’s ‘fight against terrorism’
Christopher Baker-Beall

alternative approach to the study of security and terrorism from that which underpins the orthodox rationalist theories of IR, ISS and Terrorism Studies. This analysis of EU counter-terrorism policy embraces a critical approach to security and terrorism that is situated within the emerging fields of Critical Security Studies (CSS) and Critical Terrorism Studies (CTS). It should be stated at the outset that labels such as ‘critical security studies’ or ‘critical terrorism studies’ are not unproblematic. The use of the prefix ‘critical’ should not lead us to assume that this

in The European Union’s fight against terrorism
Constituting the extremist/moderate subject
Mariela Cuadro

Charlotte Heath-Kelly, the main feature of poststructuralism’s critical stance related to security studies resides in its injection of politics in a mainly normative field, constituted by normative categories ( Heath-Kelly, 2016 ). Since its eruption in International Relations, poststructuralism has participated in these debates and moved them into Critical Terrorism Studies. Poststructuralism emerged along with the epistemological debate in International Relations that opened the discipline’s door to postpositivism ( Lapid, 1989 ). The understanding of this paradigm

in Encountering extremism
The role of the United Nations Security Council
Alice Martini

as postulated by Fairclough (1992) and then applied in Critical Terrorism Studies mainly by Richard Jackson ( Jackson, 2005 , 2016 ). This depends on the fact that the present analysis aims at problematising how language has been deployed to construct specific realities ( Stump and Dixit, 2013 ). Because of the nature of the United Nations, and of the Security Council, the study has analysed a wide array of actor’ speeches, observing how each of them played a role in the construction of the discourse. These were mainly state representatives, but briefings by

in Encountering extremism