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Blurred lines and false dichotomies: Integrating counterinsurgency into the UK's domestic "war on terror'

Sabir, R (2017) Blurred lines and false dichotomies: Integrating counterinsurgency into the UK's domestic "war on terror'. Critical Social Policy, 37 (2). pp. 202-224. ISSN 0261-0183

Blurred Lines and False Dichotomies Integrating Counterinsurgency into the UK’s domestic ‘War on Terror’.pdf - Accepted Version

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The UK’s counter-terrorism strategy (CONTEST) seeks to pursue individuals involved in suspected terrorism (‘Pursue’) and seeks to minimise the risk of people becoming ‘future’ terrorists by employing policies and practices structured to pre-emptively incapacitate and socially exclude them (‘Prevent’). This article demonstrates that this two-pronged approach is based on a framework of counterinsurgency; a military doctrine used against non-state actors that encourages, amongst other things, the blanket surveillance of populations and the targeting of propaganda at them. The use of counterinsurgency theory and practice in the UK’s ‘war on terror’ blurs the distinction between Pursue and Prevent, coercion and consent, and, ultimately, civilian and combatant. This challenges the liberal claim that counter-terrorism policies, especially Prevent, are about social inclusivity or ‘safeguarding’ and that the UK government is accountable to the people.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: 1605 Policy and Administration, 1606 Political Science, 1607 Social Work
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare. Criminology
J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
Divisions: Humanities & Social Science
Publisher: Sage
Related URLs:
Date Deposited: 15 Jan 2019 11:12
Last Modified: 04 Sep 2021 02:03
DOI or ID number: 10.1177/0261018316683471
URI: https://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/9948
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