From terrorism to ‘radicalization’ to ‘extremism’: counterterrorism imperative or loss of focus?

Article


Richards, A. 2015. From terrorism to ‘radicalization’ to ‘extremism’: counterterrorism imperative or loss of focus? International Affairs. 91 (2), pp. 371-380.
AuthorsRichards, A.
Abstract

This article argues that there has been an increasing convergence of the discourses of terrorism, radicalization and, more lately, extremism in the UK and that this has caused counterterrorism to lose its focus. This is particularly evident in the counterterrorism emphasis on non-violent but extremist ideology that is said to be ‘conducive’ to terrorism. Yet, terrorism is ineluctably about violence or the threat of violence; hence, if a non-violent ideology is in and of itself culpable for terrorism in some way then it ceases to be non-violent. The article argues that there should be a clearer distinction made between (non-violent) extremism of thought and extremism of method because it is surely violence and the threat of violence (integral to terrorism) that should be the focus of counterterrorism. The concern is that counterterrorism has gone beyond its remit of countering terrorism and has ventured into the broader realm of tackling ideological threats to the state.

JournalInternational Affairs
Journal citation91 (2), pp. 371-380
ISSN00205850
Year2015
PublisherWiley
Accepted author manuscript
License
CC BY-NC
Web address (URL)http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1468-2346.12240
Publication dates
Print27 Mar 2015
Publication process dates
Deposited01 Mar 2016
Copyright informationThis is the peer reviewed version of the following article: From terrorism to ‘radicalization’ to ‘extremism’: counterterrorism imperative or loss of focus?, which has been published in final form at http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1468-2346.12240. This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Self-Archiving.
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