Journal Article


Explaining counterterrorism in the UK: Normal politics, securitized politics or performativity of the neoliberal state?

Abstract

This paper seeks to explore the politics of counter terrorism in the UK. It argues that for a number of reasons, counter terrorism policy has been separated off from other policy areas and seen as securitised, exceptional or just different. The paper argues that such a separation from “normal” politics is problematic, both conceptually and empirically. It argues that much can be gained by considering counter terrorism policy through the lenses, concepts and debates which feature in other areas of British politics. The paper then examines two such lenses/debates – depoliticisation and neoliberalism. An argument is developed that counter terrorism policy is not, in the main, depoliticised, but rather overt, politicised and visible. This prominence, it is argued, is due to the ways in which neoliberalism has reduced many of the traditional roles of the state. Drawing on the work of Wacquant and Hall, the paper argues that in the absence of such traditional roles, counter terrorism offers the state an opportunity to perform its own “stateness”, to visibly display its sovereign power in a context of ever more (self-imposed) diminished powers.

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Authors

Lister, Michael

Oxford Brookes departments

Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences\Department of Social Sciences

Dates

Year of publication: 2018
Date of RADAR deposit: 2018-10-24



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