Contesting and preventing terrorism: On the development of UK strategic policy on radicalisation and community resilience

Peter Rogers*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)
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This paper gives a polemical insight and broad overview to the need for a critical review of key concepts in security strategy, appertaining to current policies in the United Kingdom associated with radicalisation and more specifically counter-radicalisation. In order to plan out a coherent discussion the first section of the paper links the concept of resilience to security and IEM as a broad framework within which counter-radicalisation policy is emerging. The second section unpacks the form, content and emphasis of narrative underpinning the ‘CONTEST’ strategy for countering terrorism in the UK; this descriptive review flows into the third section, offering a critical analysis of the content and emphasis of narrative underpinning the ‘PREVENT’ strategy in the UK as the evolution of this strategic programme for counter-radicalisation. The descriptive review of policies allows for the fourth section to position the structure and reorganisation of government capabilities alongside this emergent narrative of counter-radicalisation before in the final summative section of the paper pulling out key concerns and potential problems for the ideal of democracy at the core of this programme of reform. The suggestion is that by using a new strategic approach, counter-radicalisation, that emphasises narrative realignment and ‘good’ or ‘proper’ ways to be free, the very freedoms at the core of the democratic ideal are being significantly undermined – not by explicit intent of government actors but by the implicit realignment of how we talk about, discuss and enact the freedoms at the core of democracy as a way of life – through the political mileage of being seen to counter the terrorist threat, the broader realignment of neo-liberalism into an orthodox governmentality itself legitimised by an amorphous sense of impending danger, described by some as a ‘state of siege’ or a ‘state of exception’.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)38-61
Number of pages24
JournalJournal of Policing, Intelligence and Counter Terrorism
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2008

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