The securitisation of Islam in the US post-9/11 : indirect speech acts, "everyday" security and the logic of remoteness
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The thesis critically examines the processes by which Islam has been securitised in the US post-9/11. I begin by asking how this securitisation succeeded, given that two of the most powerful actors in the world, G.W Bush and Obama, have repeatedly avoided using the language of existential threat when speaking about Islam. I argue that different layers of language need to be peeled away within a sociological approach to securitisation. The linguistic approach adopted in this work challenges the conventional view of securitisation by moving back and forth between the knowledge-world of intersubjectivity and a broader field of practices, and the knowledge-world of mental states. I contend that Islam and the Muslim population have been securitised directly in the context of “the everyday,” indirectly in the context of “the exceptional” and that security practitioners in both exceptional and everyday fields of security securitise Islam by following the logic of remoteness. In the former, actors such as the police use everyday police tactics to monitor the Muslim population. In the latter, securitising actors such as G.W. Bush and Obama, or in other words, actors with “symbolic power,” securitise indirectly by using indirect speech acts and euphemisms. The indirect securitisation provides the most innovative contribution of the thesis by developing the idea that the discursive strategy of “exceptional” securitising actors relies on indirectness to convey a securitising message, which enables them to “save face” if the securitisation fails. Indirect speech acts are thus strategic securitising devices, which should be grasped by the securitisation literature. The logic of remoteness operates through a consequentialist framework, which I seek to contest by providing a critical contribution to the securitisation of Islam in the US and by opening to the role of emotions in critical securitisation studies.
Thesis, PhD Doctor of Philosophy
Embargo Date: 2024-05-06
Embargo Reason: Thesis restricted in accordance with University regulations. Print and electronic copy restricted until 6th May 2024
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