Journal Article

‘As a woman…’; ‘As a Muslim…’: Subjects, positions and counter-terrorism powers in the United Kingdom


This article presents findings from original focus group research on the importance of identity claims within public understandings of counter-terrorism across the UK. Following a review of existing literature on the terrorism/counter-terrorism/identity nexus, the article introduces four prominent subject positions inhabited within public articulations of counter-terrorism powers: the ‘Muslim’, the ‘target’, the ‘woman’ and the ‘unaffected’. Positions such as these, we argue, both enable and inhibit particular normative, political and anecdotal claims about counter-terrorism frameworks and their impact upon the body politic. This, we suggest, is demonstrative of the co-constitutive role between counter-terrorism and identity claims. Thus, on the one hand, counter-terrorism initiatives work to position individuals socially, politically, and culturally: (re)producing various religious, ethnic and other identities. Yet, at the same time, specific subject positions are integral to the articulation of people’s attitudes toward developments in counter-terrorism. The article concludes by thinking through some of the implications of this, including for resistance toward securitising moves and for citizenship more generally.

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Lister, M
Jarvis, L

Oxford Brookes departments

Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences\Department of Social Sciences


Year of publication: 2017
Date of RADAR deposit: 2016-12-01

Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License

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This RADAR resource is the Accepted Manuscript of ‘As a woman…’; ‘As a Muslim…’: Subjects, positions and counter-terrorism powers in the United Kingdom


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