Everyday security and the newspaper obituary: Reproducing and contesting terrorism discourse

Jarvis, Lee ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-4149-7135 and Whiting, Andrew (2023) Everyday security and the newspaper obituary: Reproducing and contesting terrorism discourse. Security Dialogue. ISSN 0967-0106

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Abstract

This article explores the obituary as an important, yet neglected, site of everyday security discourse. Through an original analysis of 86 published obituaries of 11 prominent ‘terrorists’, we offer three arguments. First, obituaries play an important constitutive role in shaping public understanding of terrorism and terrorists. Second, in so doing, terrorist obituaries frequently draw upon and reproduce established constructions of terrorism. Especially important here, we argue, are claims associated with the influential, yet heavily contested, ‘new terrorism’ thesis that posits profound transformations in the motives, organization and violences of terrorist groups from the late 20th century onwards. Third, notwithstanding the above, the (terrorist) obituary also offers important resources for nuancing and problematizing dominant constructions – such as of ‘new terrorism’ – in part because of the opportunity for sociopolitical critique afforded by this mnemonic genre. In making these arguments, the article therefore offers new empirical and conceptual insight into the obituary as a genre of everyday security knowledge, and into the mobility and resilience of established security discourses.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: discourse,everyday security,memory,new terrorism,obituaries,political science and international relations,sociology and political science,sdg 16 - peace, justice and strong institutions ,/dk/atira/pure/subjectarea/asjc/3300/3320
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Arts and Humanities > School of Politics, Philosophy, Language and Communication Studies
UEA Research Groups: Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Research Groups > Critical Global Politics
Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Research Groups > Political, Social and International Studies
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Depositing User: LivePure Connector
Date Deposited: 25 Nov 2023 03:15
Last Modified: 15 Jan 2024 01:32
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/93749
DOI: 10.1177/09670106231201243

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