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Title: The terrorism complex
Author: Pezdirc, Marjetka
ISNI:       0000 0004 5372 9057
Awarding Body: University of Exeter
Current Institution: University of Exeter
Date of Award: 2015
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Discussing, defining and engaging with ‘terrorism’ has long been limited to the narrowly framed situations in which parties to an asymmetric conflict resort to the use of force and to the legitimacy they have in doing so. The problem with the limited understanding of ‘terrorism’ and ‘counterterrorism’ as ‘facts of objective reality’ is the lack of attention to the role of the extreme asymmetry of power in conflicts involving ‘terrorism’ that does not lend itself to analysis readily. This thesis introduces a new theoretical concept, the Terrorism Complex that signifies the complexity of power/knowledge relations and the complexity of power/knowledge practices that operate on a discursive and non-discursive level through time and are affected by the mechanisms of power that stem from the asymmetry of power between the actors involved in a conflict. The research into the Terrorism Complex involves an ontological and epistemological widening of the research focus to account for these effects of the interplay between power and knowledge on the production, construction and perception of ‘terrorism’. I draw on postmodern scholarship and the Critical Terrorism Studies to present a theoretical and methodological framework that is used to examine the production of knowledge in relation to the asymmetries of power. The Israeli–Palestinian conflict is used as a case study for the study of power asymmetry in the political field that determines who will be labelled a ‘terrorist’ and who will be able to claim the moral high ground. The research also reveals the surprising extent to which the power over discourse obscures the role of the systemic terrorising exercise of state power in inducing ‘terrorism’. The final chapter concentrates on the media’s role in the Terrorism Complex. It applies the findings from other chapters to observe the Terrorism Complex in action.
Supervisor: Stansfield, Gareth Sponsor: Leverhulme Trust
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Terrorism ; Israeli–Palestinian Conflict ; Complex Systems Theory ; Power/Knowledge Nexus