Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Is our response to terrorism a bigger problem than the threat itself?

16.10.2007
Are we inviting terrorist attacks upon ourselves? Is our confused response to terrorism inadvertently encouraging home grown radicalisation?

These and many other questions about the now six-year-old ‘war on terror’ have been examined by Frank Furedi, Professor of Sociology at the University of Kent, in his latest book Invitation to Terror: The Expanding Empire of the Unknown.

Published by Continuum Books on 25 October, Professor Furedi’s thought-provoking book argues that what we really need to worry about is not what terrorists do but our reaction to it. It argues that Western society lacks the cultural and intellectual resources to deal with this threat. For example, politicians who frequently claim that ‘our way of life’ faces an existential threat find it difficult to explain just what that way of life is and why it is worth defending.

Professor Furedi also explores how, as society has become increasingly apprehensive about the future, it has reached the point where it regards itself as a vulnerable target. This defensive response is influenced by many causes, the most important of which is the difficulty society has in endowing conflict and the threat it faces with meaning. Professor Furedi argues that the words used to describe the threat of terrorism – unimaginable, incomprehensible, beyond meaning – further serve to deflect our understanding of the issues at stake.

Professor Furedi said: ‘Unlike in previous wars and conflicts, today our sense of terror precedes and extends beyond acts of terrorism. Official reaction is driven by a narrative of fear that invites us to regard terrorism as incomprehensible, senseless and beyond meaning. Such a response based on confusion authorises acts of speculation and fantasy as legitimate forms of threat assessment. This dramatisation of security transmits a sense of helplessness that inadvertently offers society’s enemies an invitation to terrorise. The good news is that it is not very difficult to diminish the impact of this threat through changing the way we engage with it.’

Invitation to Terror will be launched at the Battle of Ideas, London, Sunday 28 October, where Professor Furedi will participate in a public debate.

Earlier this year Professor Furedi presented a paper to a New York audience that examined the components of what constitutes the experience of fear in contemporary society.

Gary Hughes | alfa
Further information:
http://www.kent.ac.uk
http://www.kent.ac.uk/news

More articles from Social Sciences:

nachricht Internet use in class tied to lower test scores
16.12.2016 | Michigan State University

nachricht Geographers provide new insight into commuter megaregions of the US
01.12.2016 | Dartmouth College

All articles from Social Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Scientists spin artificial silk from whey protein

X-ray study throws light on key process for production

A Swedish-German team of researchers has cleared up a key process for the artificial production of silk. With the help of the intense X-rays from DESY's...

Im Focus: Quantum optical sensor for the first time tested in space – with a laser system from Berlin

For the first time ever, a cloud of ultra-cold atoms has been successfully created in space on board of a sounding rocket. The MAIUS mission demonstrates that quantum optical sensors can be operated even in harsh environments like space – a prerequi-site for finding answers to the most challenging questions of fundamental physics and an important innovation driver for everyday applications.

According to Albert Einstein's Equivalence Principle, all bodies are accelerated at the same rate by the Earth's gravity, regardless of their properties. This...

Im Focus: Traffic jam in empty space

New success for Konstanz physicists in studying the quantum vacuum

An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...

Im Focus: How gut bacteria can make us ill

HZI researchers decipher infection mechanisms of Yersinia and immune responses of the host

Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Sustainable Water use in Agriculture in Eastern Europe and Central Asia

19.01.2017 | Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Breaking the optical bandwidth record of stable pulsed lasers

24.01.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Choreographing the microRNA-target dance

24.01.2017 | Life Sciences

Spanish scientists create a 3-D bioprinter to print human skin

24.01.2017 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>