Discourses and Practices of Terrorism

Routledge (2010)
Arising out of one of the annual conferences I organise as Director of the University’s Centre for Applied Philosophy, Politics and Ethics (see http://arts.brighton.ac.uk/research/cappe/) -- ‘Interrogating Terror’ – and from my work on the editorial board of Critical Studies on Terrorism, this collection is published in the Routledge Critical Terrorism Studies series and brings together theoretical and empirical material to challenge the notion that ‘terrorism’ and/or ‘terror’ are transparent, given or limited to non-state agents. Instead, it seeks to expose the political and discursive practices which underlie the use of these terms and which, in doing so, seek to shape our very conceptualisation of what is real. The book has two distinctive features. First, it is interdisciplinary, including contributions from philosophy, law, social policy, media studies, sociology and history. To that extent, the book may also be read as a concrete instantiation of the interdisciplinarity to which my colleagues and I are committed in our undergraduate teaching and our research practices. Second, its format is deliberately designed to foster critical and interdisciplinary engagement, by presenting readers with a series of examples of it. Each chapter is the subject of a commentary from one of the editors, to which each author in turn offers a brief reply. The book thus instantiates, in terms of both authorship and readership, a commitment to collaborative modes of inquiry, in the belief that attending to complex issues – and perhaps especially those bringing theoretical and practical issues together (see also 2009) -- is likely to require a collaborative approach. Dedicated to ‘What’s left of the Left’, the book at once marks a trajectory characterised by an increasing concern to combine academic scholarship and research with activist contributions and to understand how the language of ‘terror’ is coming to shape our political lives
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