This chapter traces the historical roots of various powers which have facilitated the designation and/or exclusion of specific enemies of the state or society. This is a partly genealogical exercise in which we return to the murky origins of outlawry on the British Isles, and reflect on proscription's gradual displacement of such powers as the principal means of political exclusion. The chapter begins by exploring the importance of outlawry to early medieval society as an instrument of social control, criminal justice and monarchical power, before showing how proscription is woven throughout Parliament’s history as a means of consolidating authority: first, in the proscription of Royalists and Jacobites and then later in the prohibitions of political reformist groups in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. The chapter then turns to twentieth-century expressions of proscription: first, as a means of control employed by colonial authorities; second, in response to the spectre of fascism in the 1930s and 1940s; and, third, as a precursor and reaction to the maelstrom of violence throughout the Northern Ireland conflict. The chapter ends by reflecting on the contemporary deployment of proscription under the regime introduced through the Terrorism Act 2000. Here we explore today’s proscription powers, the process of their enactment, and the manner in which proscription has unfolded since 2000. We conclude by sketching the core principles of political exclusion as these have evolved through the British state’s encounters with diverse political foes over the centuries.
Chapter 5 focuses on the types of question that are asked by politicians within parliamentary debate on the proscribing or banning of terrorist organisations. It argues that these questions help to demonstrate the legislature’s discursive role in shaping proscription’s meaning; a role that includes appealing for – and perhaps even demanding – justification, explanation, elaboration and clarification from the executive on this power’s application. The questions asked by parliamentarians therefore matter, we argue, for at least three reasons. First, they provide a significant component of the content of these debates – occupying a lot of the time taken by this ritual – and taking them seriously therefore provides a fuller understanding thereof. Second, they illustrate the importance of contestation, dispute and debate that we see as central to the proscription ritual and its performance of liberal democratic accountability. Third, these questions also have wider conceptual significance for helping us to think through the temporalities and fixedness of specific roles within security dramas, as well as the heterogeneity of participants therein.
Chapter 7 explores some of the most significant characteristics of parliamentary debates on the proscription or banning of terrorist organisations. These characteristics include, we argue: a remarkably standardised and repetitive framing of proscription; the existence of a core script which is often repeated, with minor alterations, across parliamentary debates; a set of established and identifiable roles that are taken up by participants within these debates (participants who, of course, come and go with the passage of time); repeated arguments around the importance of respecting these debates and their outcomes; and – perhaps most significant of all – a predictable, seemingly near-inevitable, outcome which is known in advance to those parliamentarians present at these debates. These characteristics indicate that proscription debates should be approached not – or, at least, not only or not primarily – as a decision-making exercise in which the outcome is genuinely to be decided. Rather, as a form of contemporary political ritual that reinforces the identities of its subjects by performing that which it claims to represent: liberal democracy. Vital within this, we suggest, is the appearance of dissent amidst broader cross-party consensus on proscription's necessity and legitimacy.
Chapter 3 outlines the theoretical and methodological framework for this book. It begins by making the case for moving from causal to constitutive questions in analysing the power of proscription, arguing that refocusing our attention thus entails greater reflection on proscription’s processes than outcomes. Upon this we situate our research within constructivist approaches to the political, before elaborating on our understanding of three key concepts that structure our empirical investigation: discourse, identity and political ritual.
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 radicalisation.
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.