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Exteriorising Terror: Inside/Outside the Failing State on 7 July 2005

Exteriorising Terror: Inside/Outside the Failing State on 7 July 2005

Dan Bulley

 

CSGR Working Paper 226/07

May 2007

 

 

Abstract:

 

Despite continuing to emphasise how globalisation reduces the relevance of separate ‘foreign’ and ‘domestic’ spheres, the British government’s response to the London bombings sought to exteriorise the event as foreign, even though it appeared largely domestic. This helped construct it as unusual, contingent, part of the uncontrollable ‘otherness’ of the ‘foreign’. However, it also drew the response into the arena of British foreign policy, where the ‘failing states’ has been the dominant conceptualisation of insecurity and terrorism, especially since September 11. When the bombings are examined through the ‘failing state’ disturbing and important problems are uncovered. Primarily, the ‘failing state’ discourse deconstructs under the influence of the terrorism in London, revealing that Britain itself is a ‘failing state’ by its own description and producing a generalisation of state ‘failure’. It thereby reveals several possible sites for responding to and resisting the government’s representation.

 

Contact Details:

 

Dr. Dan Bulley

School of Politics, International Studies and Philosophy

21 University Square

Queen’s University Belfast

Belfast

BT7 1NN