Contradictions of Terrorism : Security, risk and resilience book cover
1st Edition

Contradictions of Terrorism
Security, risk and resilience

ISBN 9780415626538
Published August 11, 2014 by Routledge
204 Pages

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Book Description

Over the last fifteen years there has been a significant growth in literature dealing with terrorism. Nevertheless, scholars within mainstream criminology have only recently begun to grapple with the problem of terrorism in a sustained fashion. In this provocative book the authors provide both an exposition of the contradictions that have emerged around the regulation of terrorism and an incisive analysis of the questions that the management of terrorism poses for the discipline.

Focusing primarily on the processes and practices that have emerged in the United States and the United Kingdom, the book provides a critical account of the political construction, mediation and regulation of terrorist threat since the events of 9/11. The authors explore the ways in which new institutional modes of risk assessment based on the principle of pre-emption have impacted on individuals targeted by them. Noting the dilemmas produced by the pre-emptive turn, the authors also elucidate more recent moves to develop the idea of resilience in counter-terrorism and security policy.

This book will be suitable for academics and students interested in political violence, terrorism, geopolitics and risk, as well as for practitioners and experts working in the security industries.

Table of Contents

Introduction  1. 9/11: ‘Risk Creep’, Fear and Securitization  2. Constructing New Terrorism: Discourse, Representation and Ideology  3. The War on Terror: Power, Violence and Hegemony  4. Countering Terrorism? Risk, Pre-emption and Partial Securities  5. Terrorism and Exclusion: risky subjects, suspect populations  6. Managing Terrorism: From Risk to Resilience?  Conclusion: (Re)Orienting criminology.

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Sandra Walklate is Eleanor Rathbone Chair of Sociology and Gabe Mythen is a Reader in Sociology. Both are based in the Department of Sociology, Social Policy and Criminology at the University of Liverpool. The authors have established an international reputation for their joint work on risk, security and victimisation, which appears in a range of esteemed journals.


‘An invaluable addition to the literature on terrorism that examines the profound impact of 9/11 on the discipline of criminology and elaborates the theoretical and empirical contributions that criminology can make to our understanding of the "new" terrorism. Its provocative and engaging approach challenges the reader to question common assumptions about what terrorism is, who its perpetrators are, and what combatting it requires. Wide-ranging substantive analysis and insightful exploration of key concepts like risk, pre-emption, preparedness and resilience render this a must-read book for all students and scholars of terrorism and security.’ - Lucia Zedner, Professor of Criminal Justice, Faculty of Law, University of Oxford, UK

‘This critical, multi-layered and multifaceted discussion of the concepts of risk, security, resilience and vulnerability is theoretically sophisticated and empirically rich. The book’s insightful analysis of the way the discourse of "new terrorism" has constructed vulnerable individuals and communities as risky, cast them as targets of pre-emptive interventions, and the consequences this has for targeted groups, delivers fully on its promise to uncover the many contradictions of contemporary terrorism and counter-terrorism. A must-read for anybody working in the field of risk analysis and security management.’ - Lasse Lindekilde, Associate Professor, Department of Political Science, Aarhus University, Denmark