The Theory and Practice of Emancipatory Counterterrorism
In response to the 9/11 attacks, the US declared a global war on terror to fight and stop terrorists. Immediately, the Global War on Terror was dominated by the use of military force and violence, and replete with nefarious practices such as torture, rendition, targeted killings and mass-surveillance. The military campaigns in Afghanistan and Iraq have been detrimental to the security of the people living in the region. Ironically, the efforts that were meant to counter and reduce terrorism have resulted in even more terrorism against the West. This thesis takes the conspicuous failures of the Global War on Terror, with violence as a means to counter terrorism, as the starting point for an investigation into an alternative framework for counterterrorism. More specifically, this thesis aims to construct a counterterrorism approach that is rooted in the notion of emancipation.This thesis draws on Constructivism, Critical Theory, Critical Security Studies, Critical Terrorism Studies, and Peace and Conflict Studies to construct an ideal-type model of counterterrorism. This model constitutes a radical rethinking of the ontology, epistemology and policy agenda of counterterrorism compared to the dominant models of counterterrorism. In particular, the model holds an explicit view on the need for means/ends consistency – a position that leads the thesis to reject the use of violence in counterterrorism. With the construction of the ideal-type model, this thesis shows that it is theoretically possible to offer a non-violent, emancipatory alternative to the violence-based War on Terror. In addition, it conducts an analysis of Norwegian counterterrorism which reveals that many aspects of the ideal-type model are already practiced by a Western state. This is essential because it indicates that emancipatory counterterrorism is practically feasible.
Advisor: Jackson, Richard; Standish, Katerina
Degree Name: Doctor of Philosophy
Degree Discipline: National Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies
Publisher: University of Otago
Keywords: Terrorism, Counterterrorism, Security, Emancipation, Critical Terrorism Studies, Norway
Research Type: Thesis