This is a book which aims to overturn existing understandings of the origins and futures of the War on Terror for the purposes of International Relations theory. As the book shows, this is not a war in defence of the integrity of human life against an enemy defined simply by a contradictory will for the destruction of human life as commonly supposed by its liberal advocates. It is a war over the political constitution of life in which the limitations of liberal accounts of humanity are being put to the test if not rejected outright.
Post-9/11 Horror and the Gothic Clash of Civilisations
Kevin J. Wetmore
Twentieth century cinema involving monster conflict featured solitary monsters in combat (Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man, for example). The writing of Anne Rice and the RPG Vampire: The Masquerade by White Wolf Games introduced the idea of Gothic communities and civilisations in conflict. It was not until after the terror attacks of 11 September that the idea of a clash of civilisations between supernatural societies fully emerged into the mainstream of popular culture. This essay explores the construction of a clash of civilisations between supernatural communities as a form of using the Gothic as a metaphor for contemporary terrorism in film and television series such as Underworld, Twilight, True Blood and The Vampire Diaries. Inevitably, it is the lycanthropes that are the disempowered and disenfranchised society and are alternately exploited by and rebel against the dominant vampire civilisation grown decadent and on the verge of collapse. Post-9/11 Gothic posits a world in which vampire society is the new normal, and werewolves represent a hidden danger within. Lycanthropes must be controlled, profiled and/or fought and defeated. Through close readings of the cinematic and televisual texts, I explore the vampire/werewolf clash as metaphor and metonym for the war on terror.
to those with a just cause and that it should always be punishable under the law. But doubts can arise about this. At least in certain cases, it can be and has been debated whether terrorists have, or ought to have, combatant status. Terrorists themselves often claim to be combatants, particularly when they are captured, since they would like to be accorded prisoner of war status. And, perhaps surprisingly, the Bush administration also claims that terrorists are enemy combatants in its ‘waronterror’. Are terrorists combatants?
The concepts ‘terrorist
'Terror' is a diffuse notion that takes no account of local particularities and 'war on terror' is a contradiction in terms. This book is based on the lectures that were given on the subject in Oxford in 2006. Amnesty has described 'war on terror' as a war on human rights. It is also a contest of narratives: stories that the protagonists tell about themselves, about their enemies, and about what is happening now. The book considers how the recent actions of the United States have stressed and stretched two areas of international law: the right of self-defence, and the rules of international humanitarian law. State terrorism, with a bit of careful spin, can be reclassified as counter-terrorism, in other words as inherently good in the same way that terrorism is inherently bad. The book engages with the politico-conceptual difficulties of distinguishing between war and terrorism. The interface and tensions between the human rights tradition and the Islamic tradition, particularly Islamic law, is discussed. The intensification of Western repression against Islamic thinkers or activists has at times been coupled with policies that seemed designed to change the religious trajectory of society. The sexualization of torture is only one way in which the 'war on terror' has delineated who is (and who is not) human. Religion, human rights, and trauma narratives are three other mechanisms for rationalizing suffering. The book also discusses the subject of censuring reckless killing of innocent civilians by the issue of fatwas by Muslim teachers.
actually occurred. He cites Burckhardt on the narratives of Ancient Greece: ‘those events passed down to us in the form of narration … are in many ways uncertain, controversial, coloured, or else … fictions entirely dictated by imagination or bias’. 2 The function of these narratives is to give a meaningful structure to the world in which we live, act and feel. ‘It is precisely the fabrications, constructions and projections – the fashioning of meaning – that are my concern’. 3
Amnesty has rightly described this ‘waronterror’ as a war on human rights. It is
ask the most necessary questions about US hegemony as a
‘stabilizing’ security force, such as whom does the US
render secure (individuals and/or political regimes); from what
types of threats and from which actors? At the height of the US-led
‘waronterror’ and an inter-ventionist 2 US foreign
policy, asking such fundamental questions about the US foreign and
2002 when then Persson government radically altered the text
of Sweden’s security doctrine (discussed in detail below). The
EU’s external dimension has also gathered pace in light of the
‘waronterror’, with the introduction of new measures to
combat international terrorism. The ‘waronterror’,
combined with the EU’s economic strength and role in the process
of globalisation has a dual consequence
5 September 11 and the ‘waronterror’
Tony Blair’s response to the September 11 2001 attacks was one of
unequivocal support for the United States, a framing of the situation
in stark terms of good and evil, and elucidation of an ambitiously
proactive foreign policy programme to prevent the re-occurrence of
attacks of such magnitude. It was therefore quite consistent with the
policy style rooted in Blair’s personality traits that had crystallized
during the Kosovo war. The period following September 11 saw the
prime minister, with his foreign policy approach set
THE SELF-FULFILLING PROPHECY AND
THE ‘PEOPLE’S WARONTERROR,’
On 29 October 2013, an SUV with a black flag bearing the Shahadah
waving outside one of its back windows drove recklessly towards
the Forbidden City in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square, struck numerous people, and caught fire near the palace that has long symbolized Chinese power. It turned out that a Uyghur family had been
inside the vehicle, including a man, his wife, and his mother. Five
people were killed, including those in the car and two tourists, and
thirty-eight were injured in the
This essay argues that Stephen King‘s 2006 novel Cell explores the age of terror with the aid of two concurrent Gothic discourses. The first such discourse belongs to the tradition that Patrick Brantlinger has termed Imperial Gothic. As such, it imagines with the War on Terror that the threat that the (Gothic) Other constitutes is most usefully managed with the help of massive, military violence. The other, and more traditional, Gothic discourse radically imagines such violence as instead a War of Terror. The essay then argues that Cell does not attempt to reconcile these opposed positions to terror. Instead, the novel employs the two Gothic discourses to describe the epistemological rift that terror inevitably creates.