Logan, Sarah Elizabeth
This thesis examines counterradicalisation policy and associated measures addressing the issue of 'citizen terrorists' in the United States of America and the United Kingdom. It asks: why has counterradicalisation emerged as a counterterrorism strategy in the US and the UK? The thesis argues that counterradicalisation policies have emerged in the US and the UK because they are a response to a type of terrorist threat perceived by those states as both new and as exhibiting certain distinctive...[Show more] features. This threat, Al-Qaeda inspired homegrown extremism, concerns acts of violence committed by citizens who reject the anchoring of political life in a secular institution such as the state. The ideas which drive these citizens are global, 'anti-systemic' and concerned with the nature of political community. The thesis argues that counterradicalisation has emerged in response to states' perceptions of the symbolic violence of this threat in the context of the nation-state and that as a result we should understand counterradicalisation in terms of ongoing negotiations about political community and citizenship. It shows that counterradicalisation policies in the US and the UK seek to manage a threat perceived as inherently ideational and driven by the ideas, beliefs and values of citizens. This invokes particular constraints and debates which inform and shape the policy. The thesis engages with several bodies of literature in making this argument. Most importantly, it engages with citizenship theory and uses concepts of citizenship and political community to structure its empirical analysis. In doing so, it contributes to debates in citizenship theory concerning the liberalisation and contraction of citizenship, finding that counterradicalisation in the US and the UK demonstrates a considerable narrowing of ideational and informal aspects of citizenship. It also engages with literature on transnationalism and with emerging research on counterterrorism policy. This thesis contributes to what to date has been an under-theorised field, namely the relevance of terrorism and counterterrorism to the broader theoretical concerns of International Relations. In particular it moves the analysis of counterradicalisation beyond the field of Critical Terrorism Studies that has to date dominated this topic. In doing so it establishes a framework for future research concerning interaction between post 9-11 counterterrorism, citizenship and political community in International Relations.
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