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Criminology (3rd edn)

Chris Hale, Keith Hayward, Azrini Wahidin, and Emma Wincup
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date: 23 February 2024

13. Terrorism and the politics of fearlocked

13. Terrorism and the politics of fearlocked

  • Frank Furedi


This chapter provides a general introduction to the subject of terrorism and poses a series of important questions about how to define terrorism against a backdrop of contemporary fears in a risk-averse society. It begins by casting doubt on simple, typically narrow, definitions of terrorism, before then going on to deconstruct the climate of fear currently surrounding the majority of research in this area. The chapter looks at current counter-terrorism measures and recently invoked anti-terrorist legislation. It argues that, if governments continue to adopt a cavalier attitude towards civil liberties, they face the risk of playing into the very hands of those who promote and perpetrate political violence.

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