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2011

Political Theory

Re-visioning Terrorism

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Full-Text Articles in Political Science

Symbolic Violence As Subtle Virulence: The Philosophy Of Terrorism, Jonathan Beever Sep 2011

Symbolic Violence As Subtle Virulence: The Philosophy Of Terrorism, Jonathan Beever

Re-visioning Terrorism

Jean Baudrillard’s semiotic analysis of violence leads us to understand the form of violence as three-fold: aggressive, historical, and semiotically virulent. Violence of the third form is the violence endemic to terrorism. If violence has been typically understood as of the first two types, terrorism should be understood as the virulence of simulacra. The conflation of these types of violence explains the failure of militaristic responses to terrorism. This paper will explore Baudrillard’s conception of symbolic violence as the virulence of signs and help us come to terms with the semiotic foundation of terrorism.


Tele-Visioning Terror, Caroline Zekri Sep 2011

Tele-Visioning Terror, Caroline Zekri

Re-visioning Terrorism

This paper is devoted to the relationship between terrorism and media, with a special focus on the theoretical notions of “icon”, “mass” and “distance”. It aims to show how the phenomenon of modern terrorism calls into question the essence of modern democracies and their systems of information, based on the distance between vision and event.


The Cultural Politics Of Wmd Terrorism In Post-Cold War America, Harold Williford Sep 2011

The Cultural Politics Of Wmd Terrorism In Post-Cold War America, Harold Williford

Re-visioning Terrorism

Terrorism’s definition is hotly debated and notoriously problematic. The resulting instability of counterterrorism and counterterrorist identity, however, is less often explored. This paper analyzes the prehistory of the War on Terror to explore how the meaning and associations attributed to terrorism by counterterrorists in the 1990s reflect the latter’s priorities, agenda, and anxieties. Prevalent ahistorical post-Cold War representations of terrorism involving weapons of mass destruction (WMD) as a “new” threat indicate that WMD-wielding terrorists functioned to justify the continued existence of the American national security state after the Soviet Union collapsed. Close readings of Rainbow Six, a Tom ...


The Invention Of Modern State Terrorism During The French Revolution, Guillaume Ansart Sep 2011

The Invention Of Modern State Terrorism During The French Revolution, Guillaume Ansart

Re-visioning Terrorism

This essay discusses three aspects of the Terror (September 1793–July 1794): (1) The Institutions of the Terror: The Committee of General Security, the Committee of Public Safety, and the Revolutionary Tribunal; (2) the Theory of Terror: The unity and indivisibility of the people, the category of enemy of the people, and the concept of Revolution as a state of war against aristocratic/foreign conspiracies; (3) the Language of Terror: The Terror is also a performative language, a language which embodies terror by aiming to silence all debate. In this sense, the language of Terror is Terror itself.