Constructing the terrorist threat: the merging of the discourses of terrorism, radicalization and extremism in the UK and its consequences

Conference paper


Richards, A. 2015. Constructing the terrorist threat: the merging of the discourses of terrorism, radicalization and extremism in the UK and its consequences. Constructions of Terrorism Conference. Orfalea Center for Global & International Studies, University of California, Santa Barbara, USA 03 - 04 Dec 2015
AuthorsRichards, A.
TypeConference paper
Abstract

This paper argues that the UK has recently seen the merging of the discourses of terrorism,
radicalization, and extremism, evident in the Prevent concern with extremist but non-violent
ideology that is said to be ‘conducive’ to terrorism. This convergence has blurred the
important distinction between extremism of thought and extremism of method when
countering terrorism. One of the consequences of the characterisation or ‘construction’ of the
terrorist threat as including non-violent but extremist ideology is that those who hold such
beliefs, but who are non-violent, are excluded as potential partners and dissuaders against
what counter-terrorism should really be concerned with: preventing acts of terrorism. Hence
one can have the paradoxical situation of those who might adamantly urge peaceful methods
but who are nevertheless seen as part of the ‘terrorist problem’ – an unhelpful counterterrorism
conundrum that fails to draw the distinction between extremism of thought and
extremism of method. The concern is that contemporary counter-terrorism in the UK has
itself become increasingly ideological (or counter-ideological).

Year2015
ConferenceConstructions of Terrorism Conference
Publication process dates
Deposited17 Nov 2017
Completed03 Dec 2015
Web address (URL)http://www.orfaleacenter.ucsb.edu/sites/secure.lsit.ucsb.edu.gisp.d7_orfalea-2/files/sitefiles/other/Richards_0.pdf
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