Terrorism, democracy, and the apocalyptic narrative
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The ‘war on terror’ that President George W. Bush declared following the attacks on the United States on 11 September 2001 is conducted on many levels, one of which is the debate concerning the need to ‘balance’ security and human rights. His early announcement that ‘you’re either with us or against us’ reinforces dualistic construction and leaves little room for a diversity of opinions and, consequently, for a comprehensive and clear-headed assessment of the means with which the war is being fought. Indicative of the fundamental human rights principles at stake is the question of whether the terrorist threat justifies the use of torture. Despite recent speculation that the war on terror might have been over with the killing of Osama bin Laden the open-ended process of ‘securitizing’ societies in order to minimize threat is likely to continue. The numerous textual and anecdotal glimpses included in this thesis aim to shed some light on how the articulation of threat among politicians and security professionals in particular creates more lay anxiety than necessary, and how everything from the focus on binary opposites to myths surrounding policing, media coverage of terrorist acts, the disciplinary power of the state, the voices of academia, and everyday conversations about surveillance can deeply affect democracy, perceptions of risk, terrorism and ‘the Other’.
Master i politivitenskap