Power, value, and the individual exchange: towards an improved conceptualization of terrorist finance
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This thesis finds that the term ‘terrorist financing’ is a misnomer in that much of the activity encompassed by that term involves neither terrorism nor money. Instead, terrorist financing more accurately refers either to the flow of economic and material value to ‘terrorist’ actors or specific material expressions of support to ‘terrorism,’ however that contested term is defined. This finding not only directly challenges the dominant ways terrorist finance is now conceptualized, but also provides the first unified coherent conceptual framework capable of supporting systematic analysis of the topic. This thesis arrives at this conclusion by first critically examining the various – and often contradictory or incoherent – normative, legal, and political contexts that dominate ‘orthodox’ thinking on terrorism and terrorist finance, and then relocating the financing of terrorism squarely in context of the everyday realities of how terrorism and terrorist actors interact with global and local political economies. This thesis goes beyond existing critical works on terrorist financing, and constructs the necessary conceptual foundation for a vastly more coherent, systematic, and ultimately useful understanding of the financial and economic dimensions of terrorism.
Thesis, PhD Doctor of Philosophy
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