The increase in so-called 'Islamic terrorism' since September 11 and the demands for effective policy responses are a central element of the new security challenges facing European and other societies. However, the development of anti-terrorist and other security policies affect not only public perceptions of these Islamic groups in Europe and violence emanating from them, but also directly impact on Muslim communities at home and abroad. Without a comprehensive theoretical and empirical understanding of the dual effect of security policies, Western policies may in fact increase the very threats they seek to counter. Through an integrated set of theoretically informed empirical questions, this research will analyse this post 9/11 security dilemma. Specifically it will critically explore state constructions of so-called 'Islamic terrorism' and policies to combat this new security challenge; media representations of the threats and security policies; and the impact of both on Muslim communities. Analysing British and French government policies and EU legislation, this research examines policies towards three North African states (Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia) through four interlinked research elements: (1) the specific policies chosen and implemented in the UK, France and North Africa, as well as their effects on target communities; (2) media representations of the North African Islamic threat and the attendant security policies; (3) the impact of security policies and media representations on Muslim communities and their potential radicalising effects; and (4) an evaluation of the effectiveness of state responses to this brand of Islamic radicalism. This research will make a significant theoretical and empirical contribution to better constructing more effective security policies in Europe and North Africa so that they take into account the relationship between and the effect of the construction of threats and the impact of policies on the multicultural societies they are designed to protect.
|Effective start/end date
|1/03/04 → 1/08/05
- SPAIS Global Insecurities Centre
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