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Title: Britain and terrorism: A sociogenetic investigation
Authors: Dunning, Michael
Advisors: Hughes, J
Rojek, C
Keywords: Norbert Elias;Figurations;Established-outsider relations;Civilizing processes;Terrorists
Issue Date: 2014
Publisher: School of Social Sciences Theses
Abstract: This thesis is a sociogenetic investigation of terrorism that has been directed against Britain since the late eighteenth century. One of its most fundamental aims is to help lay the foundations of a figurational approach to the study of terrorism. Accordingly, I seek to answer two core and interrelated questions and apply the findings to develop an understanding of the processes and relationships that have contributed to the emergence of home-grown ‘jihadist terrorism’ in Britain. Those questions are: i) Under what figurational conditions have the concepts of terrorism and terrorist developed, in sociogenetic terms, since they were first coined during the first French Revolution in the late eighteenth century? ii) Under what figurational conditions do people act according to various designations of terrorism? In order to develop answers to these questions several kinds of terrorism figurations related to Britain are examined. The first three chapters are dedicated to exploring the research on terrorism that has grown in recent decades. Much of it fails to develop an understanding of terrorism that has sufficient detachment, and consequently can help, in some cases, to perpetuate terrorism figurations. Subsequent chapters move away from these mainstream approaches and show how terrorism figurations have developed in Britain from the time the concept ‘terrorism’ was first coined during the French Revolution. The core findings relate to how terrorism developed in antithesis to the concept of civilisation, and emerged as part of complex inter- and intra-state relationships and established-outsider figurations. As part of these processes, functional democratisation played a key role both in Britain and in Britain’s relations to other countries. Finally, I show that these processes have been central to the development of the habituses and identities of the July 7 2005 London bombers.
Description: This thesis was submitted for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy and awarded by Brunel University
Appears in Collections:Sociology
Dept of Social Sciences Media and Communications Theses

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