Research Items (20)
- Aug 2019
- Reading Donald Trump
In this chapter, Valentina Bartolucci provides an examination of Donald Trump’s discourse on the subject of terrorism. Bartolucci identifies and deconstructs the series of tropes and rhetorical devices that this discourse is built upon, such as representing “radical Islamic terrorism” as an existential and civilizational threat that is animated by incomprehensible evil. Through this analysis, Bartolucci illuminates how Donald Trump’s discourse on terrorism promotes the intensification of state violence and overtly repositions the USA as a country to be feared and not admired.
- Dec 2016
- The Palgrave Handbook of Global Counter-Terrorism Policy
This chapter aims to provide a critical overview of the United Kingdom’s contemporary counter-terrorism strategy, highlighting its main strengths as well as its shortcomings, and devoting particular attention also to the effects of UK counter-terrorism on the wider society. More in detail, the first section of the chapter contains a reflection on the scale of the terrorism threat in the country as well as on the challenge it may pose in the future. The second section focuses on CONTEST, the counter-terrorism strategy that the United Kingdom has designed to deal with the issue. The third section investigates the sociopolitical effects of these policies on 'suspect' communities and individuals. The chapter ends by identifying what lessons can be learn from evolving understandings of and responses to national and international security threats of a country that is both a target of terrorism but also as an exporter of terrorism.
Introduzione Questo capitolo si prefigge di mostrare i possibili benefici che possono derivare da un incontro tra due campi di studio apparentemente lontani: l'Interazionismo Simbolico (IS) e gli Studi per la Pace. Sebbene tali settori di studio tocchino tematiche comuni, l'Interazionismo Simbolico si è occupato solo marginalmente di pace e conflitti e d'altro canto gli Studi per la Pace non hanno beneficiato della portata innovativa dell'IS. Eppure, sarebbero molteplici i benefici che potrebbero derivare da una loro compenetrazione. Infatti, a ben vedere, l'Interazionismo Simbolico e gli Studi per la Pace hanno vari punti di convergenza quali, ad esempio, il focus sull'interazione sociale, cruciale-fin nel nome stesso-per gli interazionisti, ma importantissima anche per gli scienziati per la pace in quanto non può esserci conflitto senza una qualche interazione. I simboli, le simbolizzazioni, i discorsi, le narrazioni sono altresì oggetto di attento studio e riflessione da parte degli studiosi di entrambi i filoni di ricerca. Alcuni fra i principi fondanti dell'IS, in particolare il fatto che gli individui agiscono sulla base dei significati che gli oggetti hanno per loro; che l'interazione avviene entro ad un particolare contesto sociale e culturale nel quale gli oggetti così come le situazioni devono essere definite o categorizzate sulla base dei significati individuali; che i significati emergono dall'interazione con altri individui e la società; e, infine, che i significati sono continuamente creati e ricreati attraverso processi interpretativi dei significati simbolici durante l'interazione, si ritrovano, seppur con accezioni diverse, anche negli Studi per la Pace. È infatti assodato che un conflitto di qualsiasi tipo ha al suo interno dinamiche di interazione sociale costruite attraverso discorsi e che gli stessi discorsi sono il prodotto di interazioni sociali. Entrambi gli approcci, inoltre, condividono l'assunto di base che nega l'esistenza di rappresentazioni 'naturali' e neutrali degli eventi e concordano dunque sul fatto che numerose interpretazioni sono sempre possibili e vanno attentamente analizzate. Eppure, nonostante il fatto che i due approcci condividano assunti comuni e analizzino tematiche simili, essi non dialogano tra loro. Questo capitolo cerca di mostrare alcuni benefici che potrebbero risultare da un'interiorizzazione di concetti interazionisti da parte degli Studi per la Pace e invita, d'altro canto, gli interazionisti a confrontarsi su un aspetto fondamentale dell'agire sociale, il conflitto, e ad offrire il proprio contributo allo studio della pace.
Recent events have shown in dramatic ways that violent extremist organizations (VEOs) have increased their appeal around the world. More than ever, it is therefore vital to delve deeper into understanding this phenomenon by systematically analyzing the rhetoric used by such organizations to persuade and recruit new members. The strategic communication of Violent Extremist Organizations has evolved dramatically in the past few years, driven by multiple factors including the changing geopolitical landscape, the ubiquity of new social media, and, crucially, the rise of the so-called Islamic State (IS). This chapter examines the evolution of al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) in relation to IS by showing that the two movements have always had different world views and, consequently, very different communicative strategies and discourses. To this end, this paper presents the results of a detailed textual analysis of texts produced by AQIM and of an analysis of the visual propaganda of IS.
This chapter aims at providing an overview of the threat and spread of terrorism in the Maghreb as well as at assessing the counter-terrorism approaches of the three countries under review – Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia. While all three countries were confronted with similar challenges after independence, they each adopted a different strategy to dealing with the ensuing threat. The domestic and internal political dynamics also had an impact on the manifestation and magnitude of the threat of terrorism and their ability to contain violence. The first section of this chapter provides an insight into the spread and threat of terrorist organisations in the Maghreb.1 Particular attention is devoted to al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) – its structure and activities, the influence of al-Qaeda in its establishment and consolidation. The second section provides an assessment of the counter-terrorism strategies initiated by the three countries, among which political strategies; socio-economic restructuring; religious control and education. The two sections are followed by a conclusion.
- Jan 2015
Starting from a critical analysis of the U.S. intervention in Afghanistan in response to the September 11, 2001 events, this paper seeks to propose a different approach to terrorism/counter-terrorism analysis consisting in putting at the forefront the discursive dimension of the phenomenon through the lens of Critical Discourse Analysis, and in grounding it in a System Thinking approach. The main argument is that 'terrorism' cannot be understood outside a context, language and culture, and that to be fully grasped as a dynamic phenomenon it has to be framed in a systems perspective. Among the key elements of System Thinking that can enhance the understanding of 'terrorism' are: boundary definition, casual loops and feedbacks, delays, emergent properties, and overshoot-and-collapse.
This report presents the results of an analysis of the narrative landscape produced in texts by and about al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) from 2007 to 2013. We analyzed invocation of cultural master narrative use by the group, and then performed a detailed thematic study of the texts using Critical Discourse Analysis. This report is timely, as there are indications that the threat of terrorism in North Africa is on the rise. The analysis of Master Narrative use allows us to better understand how AQIM exploits cultural knowledge of its audience for strategic communication purposes while the qualitative analysis is useful to explore the use of the particular words and grammatical forms to establish meaning, identities, interests, and behaviors of political agents in the narratives. The analysis shows that AQIM uses master narratives in a way that is distinct from Islamist extremist groups outside the Maghreb. Though they employ many of the same narratives, they appear in a higher percentage of their texts than is the case for extremist groups outside the region. In addition, they often use three master narratives relating to back-and-forth conflict between Muslims and Christians in Andalusia, which have particular resonance in the Maghreb. The analysis also shows that the use of the master narratives varies over the years studied, suggesting changes in AQIM strategic communication priorities. In particular there is a notable shift around 2010 when the group was under pressure from authorities. The Critical Discourse Analysis reveals that AQIM invests a great deal of time in representing the enemy with the utmost negativity. Of particular interest is that AQIM’s members also depict themselves in highly negative ways. The analysis suggests that while the strategy of negative self-representation maybe effective in the short term to attract new supporters and recruit new, it is probably ineffective in the long run. This report makes three recommendations for influence activities to counter the AQIM discourse: (1) Focus information efforts on the Maghreb, (2) avoid supporting their critique of neo-liberalism, and (3) emphasize the long-term implications of the AQIM’s negative self-image.
This article first analyzes some of the main features of the political discourse on terrorism interlinked with the counterterrorism discourse as first instantiated under the Bush administration. It then focuses on the appropriation of the US-led discourse by the Moroccan government as well as on some of its major effects, going beyond the formulation and acceptance of the counterterrorism strategy known as the War on Terror. Its main aim is to contribute to further opening a critical space of reflection in seeing terrorism primarily as a discourse and to underline some of the effects deriving from the appropriation of the discourse. The focus will be especially on the furthering of domestic agendas as well as the targeting of certain individuals and groups in the name of security. To do so, this article seeks to go beyond an analysis of the effects of the discourse limited to the military and legal aspects to focus on wider societal effects. It thus locates itself in the wider debate on the tradeoff between security and liberty, and in particular on the issues democracies face when dealing with matters of security.
- Jan 2012
In this paper I examine some of the properties of the speeches by former U.S. President George W. Bush framing the issue of terrorism as the most pressing menace humanity is facing and some of the consequences of the selective appropriation of the discourse on terrorism initially instantiated by Bush. The theoretical framework for the analysis is a multidisciplinary Critical Discourse Analysis approach relating discursive and socio-political aspects of U.S. presidential discourses on terrorism in the Bush era. Parallel to an analysis of common characteristics of political discourse, such as `us' versus `other' representations, the device of over/less characterisation, hyperboles and repetitions, attention is also directed towards the socio-political effects deriving from the ways in which `terrorism' and `terrorists' have been represented by the presidential discourse on terrorism that condition the contemporary life of individuals and groups all around the world.
- Jan 2011
Different ideas of peace lead to rather different approaches to Peace Studies research and curricula. After briefly reviewing the different meaning of the word peace in the past and different definitions of peace today, we attempt to provide a different understanding of peace which construction is seen as encompassing the main challenges we face in today complex world, from those related to the outrageous inequalities at global level to those related to environmental stresses and sustainability. From a pedagogical point of view, this implies a shift in Peace Studies curricula, from the “skill and information” paradigm to the "knowledge and understanding," in the spirit of Paulo Freire pedagogy. In this view, we argue that an approach to Peace Studies characterized by a high level of interdisciplinarity is necessary but not sufficient. Given the complexities and inter-linkages of the issues that Peace Studies has to address, we thus propose a holistic approach, going under the name of system thinking. A detailed discussion on the concepts of interdisciplinarity and of system thinking, as well as the possible implications on Peace Studies curricula, is finally presented.
- Jul 2010
The discourse on ethics in operations research/management science (OR/MS) has many aspects. Among them there is the ethical responsibility the OR/MS community faces in a world in which the widespread presence of structural violence makes the construction of a peaceful and sustainable social order a very challenging task, and puts at risk the very survival of human kind. In this paper we want to emphasize the role of the systemic approach, which is proper of OR/MS, with respect to the issue of peace, and in particular within the Peace Studies area.
- Apr 2010
This paper approaches terrorism as a discursive construction. The discussion concentrates on the Moroccan government's representations of terrorism. The social and political construction of ‘radicalism’ and ‘extremism’ as the major causes of ‘(Islamist) terrorism’ in Morocco is shaped by the global understanding of these phenomena and is intimately entwined with understandings and policies within the country itself. This paper aims at shedding light on the possible implications of such labelling beyond the formulation, acceptance, and implementation of a counter-terrorism strategy. Special attention is devoted to the government's appropriation of the discourse on terrorism to further domestic agendas and to target specific groups. Critical Terrorism Studies is welcomed, especially for the emphasis it puts on the artificiality of ‘terrorism’ and for its aim ‘to destabilise dominant interpretations and demonstrate the inherently contested and political nature of the discourse – to reveal the politics behind seemingly neutral knowledge’, a central concern also of Critical Discourse Analysis.
This chapter focuses on the Moroccan government’s attempt to construct the Polisario Front as a potential terrorist group and considers this attempt as a strategy of delegitimisation of this nationalist movement. It analyses the way in which the issue of the Western Sahara is addressed in the Moroccan dominant discourse, and specifically with regard to the identity of Polisario. The aim is to grasp the repercussions of this strategy on the Moroccan interior politics as well as among the international actors and forums that can leverer the resolution of the issue over the sovereignty on the Western Sahara.
The discourse on Ethics in Operations Research/Management Science has many aspects. Among them there is the ethical responsibility the OR/MS community faces in a world in which the widespread presence structural violence makes the construction of a peaceful and sustainable social order a very challenging task, and puts at risk the very survival of human kind. In this paper we want to emphasize the role of the systemic approach, which is proper of OR/MS, with respect to the issue of Peace, and in particular within the Peace Studies area.
The discourse on Ethics in Operations Research/Management Sci- ence has many aspects. Among them there is the ethical responsibil- ity the OR/MS community faces in a world in which the widespread presence structural violence makes the construction of a peaceful and sustainable social order a very challenging task, and puts at risk the very survival of human kind. In this paper we want to emphasize the role of the systemic approach, which is proper of OR/MS, with respect to the issue of Peace, and in particular within the Peace Studies area.
Awards & Achievements (1)
Grant · Sep 2007
PhD grant University of Bradford