Stellan Vinthagen March 30th, 2011
A Decade of Terrorism and Counter-terrorism since 9/11: Taking stock and new directions in research and policy
Call for Papers
Organising body: Critical Studies on Terrorism Working Group (CSTWG) of the British International Studies Association
Supported by: The British Academy, Consortium for Research on Terrorology and Political Violence; Communication Research cluster, University of Strathclyde
Location(s): University of Strathclyde and Glasgow City Chambers, Central Glasgow.
September 11, 2011 will mark ten years since the terrorist attacks on America and the start of the global ‘war on terrorism’. The extensive changes engendered by these processes in the last decade have yet to be fully understood and appreciated. There is consequently a real need for rigorous and sustained retrospective analysis. In a year that will see a wide range of special commemorative and academic events, this conference will seek to assess the widespread impact of terrorism and counter-terrorism since 2001 from a distinctly ‘critical’ perspective. More specifically, the conference will foreground inter-disciplinarity and seek to review what we have learnt in a period of unprecedented interest in the study of terrorism and counter terrorism. There will be a range of debate sessions between ‘critical’ and ‘mainstream’ scholars, and engagement with policy actors, including speakers from the government ‘Contest II’/’Prevent’ campaigns, the police, legal officials, civil libertarians and Muslim community representatives.
Key note speakers include Joseba Zulaika (University of Nevada in Reno), Michael Stohl (University of California Santa Barbara), Michael Scheuer (ex-CIA), Richard Jackson (Aberystwyth) Caron Gentry (St Andrews) and Dr. Bob Lambert (Exeter, ex-Special Branch)
The conference is intended to play a significant role in the expansion of interest in, and the re-orientation towards a more empirically informed and theoretically sophisticated practice of, studies of terrorism and political violence. Subsidiary aims include to foster knowledge exchange between social science and natural science disciplines; and to contribute to the re-evaluation of policy on terrorism and counter terrorism.
Scholarship on terrorism has expanded exponentially in the past decade. The subject itself is clearly of major importance inside and outside the academy. While the conference is an initiative from scholars who are part of an openly ‘critical’ working group on terrorism, the conference organizers are concerned to open up dialogue on the shared problems of data, methods and theory which most observers agree are important issues in ‘terrorism studies’. We will bring together an unusually interdisciplinary group including exponents of both ‘orthodox’ and ‘critical’ terrorism studies, and those from other areas of social and natural science who are often not part of the mainstream discussion of ‘terrorism’.
There will be a strong policy and civil society element to the conference with policy actors and human rights activists debating responses to terrorism, civil liberties, and ‘suspect communities’. We will also host roundtable discussions featuring those with experience of political violence from a variety of conflicts.
In addition, we will host advanced research training workshops for conference participants, together with interdisciplinary research sessions including a small number of ‘master classes’ where leading researchers will reflect on interdisciplinarity and on their own research methods and practice. We intend to offer both early career and established scholars an opportunity to discuss practical questions outside the formality of the set-piece keynote addresses and we hope that this will encourage sharing of new and developing methods in the field especially in the context of the new opportunities and issues thrown up for methods by new digital technologies. We hope to use these methods workshops to focus in the interdisciplinary workshops on fostering research networking for the future.
The conference is intended to look back and review how we have understood terrorism and counter-terrorism, and attempt to think through where the study of terrorism and counter-terrorism should go from here. Themes in the conference include, among others:
• ‘Non-state terrorism’, including but not limited to terrorism as an instrument of power;
• ’State terror’ and repression, including, but not limited to Western State terror;
• ’Counter-terrorism’, risk governance and ‘radicalisation’;
• ‘Advances in terrorism studies’ with a particular focus on data, methods and theory, including the contribution of critical terrorism studies;
• ‘Communicating terrorism’: cybersecurity, social media, influence agenda, public diplomacy, information operations and strategic communications;
• Gender and terrorism/counter-terrorism;
• Historical materialism, terrorism and counter-terrorism;
• The war on terror and the global South;
• The ways in which conflict resolution can inform the study of terrorism and counter-terrorism policy.
The conference will include a mix of plenaries, keynotes, panel, debate and workshop sessions.
Abstracts and Expressions of Interest
The organizing committee welcomes the submission of
1. Abstracts (max. 350 words) on these and related topics;
2. Panel proposals (with a minimum of 3 abstracts, plus a short overview of the panel (circa 250 words))
3. Workshop proposals (with either a policy/civil society or methodological/practical orientation max 350 words of workshop description plus max 250 words on any individual elements)
All abstracts will be reviewed by the organizing committee to meet rigorous academic standards. Abstracts will be reviewed for relevance, conceptual quality, innovation and clarity of presentation. At least one author of accepted papers is required to attend the conference in order to present the paper.
Abstracts should be sent to Jan Bissett email@example.com by Wednesday 1 June 2011.
Papers from the conference will be selected competitively for inclusion in either:
1. A special issue of the journal, Critical Studies on Terrorism; or
2. An edited volume on the conference theme published by a major academic publisher.
These outputs will be edited and overseen by an overlapping editorial team led by the organisers. It is anticipated that the journal will focus on advances in terrorism studies. The book will focus substantively on 9/11 and its legacies incorporating interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary perspectives. The edited collection will be divided into key sections reflecting the conference themes. It is important to note that the papers for the book will be needed in near final draft form in advance of the conference.
Costs: Conference costs will be announced shortly. It is envisaged that full costs will be around £200 with reductions for student, policy and civil society participation. Accommodation will not be included in conference costs and should be booked separately. It is the responsibility of delegates to book their own accommodation. A list of hotels, hostels and B&Bs will be provided by the conference organizers.
Conference organizing committee
David Miller (Strathclyde) (convenor), Helen Dexter (Manchester), Piers Robinson (Manchester), Dave Whyte (Liverpool), Vicki Sentas (King’s), Bela Arora (University of Wales, Newport), Emmanuel-Pierre Guittet (Manchester), Jessie Blackbourn (Salford), Idrees Ahmad (Strathclyde), Roy Revie (Strathclyde), Steven Harkins (Strathclyde), Rizwaan Sabir (Strahclyde), Tom Mills (Strathclyde), Cyrus Tata (Law, Strathclyde), Rachel Hendrick (Strathclyde), Rani Dhanda (Strathclyde)
Administrative support Jan Bissett:firstname.lastname@example.org
Conference blog: http://decadeofterrorismandcounterterrorism.wordpress.com/
The conference will hear several keynote addresses from world leading authors on terrorism and political violence. Each Plenary speaker will also run a Masterclass on research techniques in terrorism specifically aimed at Postgraduate students and early career researchers.
Keynote addresses confirmed so far:
Joseba Zulaika is the Director of the Centre for Basque Studies at the University of Nevada in Reno and an anthropologist by training. Among his research interests are the international discourse of terrorism. His 2009 book Terrorism: the Self-Fulfilling Prophecy was published by the University of Chicago Press. His recent explorations of terrorism focus in particular on the role of intellectuals and reflect on the domain of terrorism studies.
This self-reflexive focus – which is comparatively rare in academic work on terrorism – is the reason why we particularly want Prof Zulaika to deliver a keynote at the conference.
Michael Stohl is Professor of Communication at the University of California Santa Barbara. Stohl’s current research focuses on organizational and political communication with special reference to terrorism, human rights and global relations. Stohl’s foundational work on state terrorism, his focus on Terrorism as communicatively constituted violence, and his current work on terrorism networks and counter terrorism are the key reasons why he is being invited to deliver a keynote. He will also lead a workshop on network analysis in relation to terrorism.
Michael Scheuer (invited) spent 22-years with the CIA in which he held various positions including Senior Adviser for the Usama Bin Laden Department, Chief of the Southwest/Southeast Asia Counternarcotics Operation, and Chief of the Sunni Militant Unit. Dr. Scheuer is the author of Imperial Hubris. Why the West is Losing the War on Terrorism (2004) and Through Our Enemies’ Eyes: Osama Bin Laden, Radical Islam, and the Future of the United States (2003), as well as Marching Towards Hell: America and Islam After Iraq (2008).
Richard Jackson Professor in International Politics (Aberystwyth). He is the founding editor of the journal Critical Studies on Terrorism. Together with Jeroen Gunning and Marie Breen Smyth, Richard Jackson is co-editor of the Routledge Critical Terrorism Studies Book Series. Richard Jackson has published numerous books and articles on terrorism-related issues and international conflict resolution.
Caron Gentry was an Assistant Professor of Political Science at Abilene Christian University in Abilene, Texas and has recently taken the post of Lecturer at the University of St Andrews. Her previous work has been published in the journal Terrorism and Political Violence. Her research interests are gender, terrorism and political violence.