Reinventing prevention or exposing the gap? False positives in UK terrorism governance and the quest for pre-emption
Heath-Kelly, Charlotte. (2012) Reinventing prevention or exposing the gap? False positives in UK terrorism governance and the quest for pre-emption. Critical Studies on Terrorism, Vol.5 (No.1). pp. 69-87. ISSN 1753-9153Full text not available from this repository.
Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/17539153.2012.659910
This article considers the developments within UK counterterrorism strategy between the Prevention of Terrorism Acts (PTAs) and the recent (2011) reworking of CONTEST. It argues that the performance of prevention within British counterterrorism policy has changed to favour pre-emptive measures, deployed in accordance with knowledge produced about terrorism ‘risk’. However, this shift has been accompanied by the continuation of certain practices of pre-emption. The article integrates the studies of ‘suspect communities’ created by counterterrorism practices into its discussion of risk, elucidating how the production of risky subjectivities has enabled the practice of ‘preventative’ force upon both Provisional Irish Republican Army (PIRA) and contemporary terrorist suspects. The article focuses on these articulations of risky communities, highlighting how they lead to ‘false positives’ in the identification of terrorists and the use of sovereign force (like the death of Jean Charles de Menezes or the assassination of PIRA suspects in Gibraltar) by painting certain racial characteristics and behaviours as imminently dangerous. The article connects the production of suspect communities to the presence of pre-emptive logics within counterterrorism discourse, logics that have consistently produced a ‘gap’ between the terrorist event and its pre-emption, between the suspect community and the figure of the terrorist, then. This ‘gap’ leads to the use of force upon innocent persons – who are temporarily rendered guilty by visualities of ‘suspectness’. As such, the apparent novelty of pre-emptive terrorism governance within British policy framing does not reflect a similar discontinuity in the practice of counterterrorism then – which has consistently deployed suspect communities and produced ‘false positives’ within a politics of pre-emption.
|Item Type:||Journal Article|
|Divisions:||Faculty of Social Sciences > Politics and International Studies|
|Journal or Publication Title:||Critical Studies on Terrorism|
|Page Range:||pp. 69-87|
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