The Politics of Threat and Danger: Writing the War on Terrorism

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dc.contributor.author Jackson, Richard
dc.date.accessioned 2009-04-15T11:49:48Z
dc.date.available 2009-04-15T11:49:48Z
dc.date.issued 2004
dc.identifier.citation Jackson , R 2004 , ' The Politics of Threat and Danger: Writing the War on Terrorism ' pp. 20-22 . en
dc.identifier.other PURE: 99789
dc.identifier.other dspace: 2160/1947
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/2160/1947
dc.identifier.uri http://www.manchesteruniversitypress.co.uk/ en
dc.description Jackson, Richard, 'The Politics of Threat and Danger: Writing the War on Terrorism', British International Studies Association (BISA) 29th Annual Conference, University of Warwick, 20-22 December, 2004 The research for this paper derives largely but not solely from the author‘s book – Richard Jackson, Writing the War on Terrorism: Language, Politics and Counter-Terrorism (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2005). en
dc.description.abstract Central to the discursive project that accompanies the prosecution of the global war against terrorism is a powerful and ubiquitous narrative of threat and danger. A critical discourse analysis of this narrative reveals how the language and politics of fear work to construct counter-terrorism and reproduce hegemony. The principal discursive formations of the narrative include: the notion of a new form of 'super-terrorism‘ or 'catastrophic terrorism‘; the supreme emergency engendered by the terrorist threat; and the ubiquity of a highly dangerous enemy within. The primary ideological purpose behind constructing such a powerful narrative of threat and danger is to legitimise and normalise the doctrine of pre-emptive war against foreign enemies, and the simultaneous disciplining of domestic sources of opposition. The politics of fear also function to enforce national unity, (re)construct national identity, disguise the neo-conservative geo-strategic project, and strengthen the institutions of state coercion. However, upon closer examination it becomes clear that the discursive construction of the catastrophic terrorist threat is inherently unstable and susceptible to counter-hegemonic resistance across a range of levels. Ethically, we have a responsibility to resist the politics of fear because not only is it damaging to democratic politics, but it is directly implicated in the widespread human rights abuses of the war on terror seen in Guantànamo Bay, Abu Ghraib, and elsewhere. en
dc.format.extent 3 en
dc.language.iso eng
dc.relation.ispartof en
dc.title The Politics of Threat and Danger: Writing the War on Terrorism en
dc.type Text en
dc.type.publicationtype Conference contribution en
dc.contributor.institution Aberystwyth University en
dc.contributor.institution Department of International Politics en
dc.description.status Non peer reviewed en


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