Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


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

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:

More articles from Social Sciences:

nachricht New population data provide insight on aging, migration
31.08.2016 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)

nachricht PRB projects world population rising 33 percent by 2050 to nearly 10 billion
25.08.2016 | Population Reference Bureau

All articles from Social Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Etching Microstructures with Lasers

Ultrafast lasers have introduced new possibilities in engraving ultrafine structures, and scientists are now also investigating how to use them to etch microstructures into thin glass. There are possible applications in analytics (lab on a chip) and especially in electronics and the consumer sector, where great interest has been shown.

This new method was born of a surprising phenomenon: irradiating glass in a particular way with an ultrafast laser has the effect of making the glass up to a...

Im Focus: Light-driven atomic rotations excite magnetic waves

Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion

Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how...

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

How nanoscience will improve our health and lives in the coming years

27.10.2016 | Materials Sciences

OU-led team discovers rare, newborn tri-star system using ALMA

27.10.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

'Neighbor maps' reveal the genome's 3-D shape

27.10.2016 | Life Sciences

More VideoLinks >>>