False dawns or new horizons? Further issues and challenges for Critical Terrorism Studies

Article


Michel, Torsten and Richards, A. 2009. False dawns or new horizons? Further issues and challenges for Critical Terrorism Studies. Critical Studies on Terrorism. 2 (3), pp. 399-413.
AuthorsMichel, Torsten and Richards, A.
Abstract

While welcoming Critical Terrorism Studies (CTS) as an interesting and valuable addition to the discourse on terrorism studies, this article argues that CTS has some serious shortcomings, particularly in those accounts that draw explicitly on a Frankfurt School approach. The article will mainly engage with three areas: the notion and conceptualisation of ‘critique’, the role of emancipation, and the overstatement of the novelty of CTS. It will argue that the way in which Critical Theory has been incorporated into the study of terrorism does not take sufficient account of the wider philosophical implications and shortcomings inherent in Critical Theory. It then suggests that while the concept of emancipation (which drives the normative agenda of CTS) has been advocated, it is very unclear as to its practical application. CTS scholars, it is argued, cannot simply take ‘emancipation’ out of the different contestations surrounding it by either claiming a (somewhat deceptive) transparency of meaning manifested in ‘liberating the oppressed’ or by retreating into an anti-foundationalist stand in which ‘the concrete content of emancipation cannot and need not be determined in the beginning’. Finally, and in relation to the definition of terrorism in particular, the article argues that the novelty of CTS has been overstated.

JournalCritical Studies on Terrorism
Journal citation2 (3), pp. 399-413
ISSN1753-9153
Year2009
PublisherTaylor & Francis
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)doi:10.1080/17539150903306097
Web address (URL)https://doi.org/10.1080/17539150903306097
Publication dates
Print25 Nov 2009
Publication process dates
Deposited25 Oct 2017
Accepted19 May 2009
Copyright information© 2009 Taylor & Francis
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