Critical Terrorism Studies has so far provided a wide critique of mainstream approaches to terrorism, extremism and radicalisation. CTS has brought to the fore the main problems of these conceptualisations of terrorism, not only at an academic and theoretic level, but also, and more importantly, at a political and policy-making level. CTS scholars have highlighted how countering-terrorism, countering-radicalisation and countering-extremism have created different spaces for intervention in specific social contexts, both at an international and domestic level. Military interventions, the creation of a “suspect community”, the alienation of specific parts of the population, human rights abuses and so on have been widely analysed within CTS at different material and ideological levels. Also, CTS has managed to shift the focus to specific concepts such as state-terrorism.
CTS was created to denounce these issues and offer a counter-narrative to the dominant, mainstream understanding of terrorism. Nevertheless, although a robust critique of the destructive nature and practices of CT, CR and CVE has been produced, less attention has been focused on how to rethink these activities, something that the academic community – but, CTS specifically – cannot ignore anymore. The 2018 CTS Annual Conference thus will look for submissions on possible ways forward, reformulations of current polities and policies, lessons learnt from specific – international or domestic – contexts and so on. Having interiorised the critiques CTS has put forward in this last decade, it is now time for a normative turn in our field. We can thus ask ourselves: how does a CTS theory or practice of countering-terrorism, countering radicalisation or countering-extremism looks like?
Therefore, possible themes under consideration include (but are not limited to):
- How does a CTS counter-terrorism/counter-radicalisation/counter (violent) extremism model look like? How to counter terrorism, radicalisation, or extremism from a CTS perspective?
- How can post-colonial, feminist, pacifist, post-structuralist gazes intersect with CTS to create a CTS model to counter-terrorism?
- Counter-terrorism, counter-radicalisation and counter-extremism: what to save? Could and how could they be reformulated?
- Any constructive lessons learnt for CTS from specific (international or domestic) cases, from bottom-up or top-down perspective?
- Can CT/CR/CVE be reshaped as an emancipatory tool - i.e. broadening of notion of violence, terrorism and extremism, application to the state etc?
As usual, papers not dealing specifically with the conference topic will also be considered. However, only papers on the conference topic may be selected for a special issue on the Journal Critical Studies on Terrorism.
9 x home/EU scholarship (of £150) and 1 non-EU scholarship (£400) will be available to support designated PhD candidates travelling to the conference to present their research. Details will be discussed after the selection for the conference.
We look forward to welcoming you in Leeds!
Alice, Michael and Gordon
Critical Studies on Terrorism Working Group Convenors