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Title: Experiencing the War on Terror : bringing experiential knowledge into Critical Terrorism Studies
Author: Qureshi, Asim
ISNI:       0000 0004 7659 7210
Awarding Body: University of Kent
Current Institution: University of Kent
Date of Award: 2018
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Critical Terrorism Studies has produced an important volume of work in assessing and critiquing epistemological understandings of the War on Terror. Largely missing from this body of work, however, is the experience of those who are directly impacted by the policies of this global conflict. By rethinking the War on Terror as an experience of war, I posit a wider understanding of this war, by reassessing its temporal and spatial boundaries. Further, I seek to understand war through the experiences of those impacted by it. By providing a wider understanding of war and expanding our knowledge of its boundaries, I am able to show that those impacted by the policies of the War on Terror, can claim to have been subject to an experience of war, even when that experience takes place outside of the war zone. My work for the last fifteen years has predominantly been based in the field, meeting with those who have survived the impact of global counter-terrorism policies. It is based on the work I have produced out of their stories that this thesis provides an ontological reframing of how war is experienced. By relying on this work, I first show how epistemological constructions of the terrorism 'threat' can become a site of war itself. I then move on to extending our understanding of where the War on Terror might be experienced, beyond traditional notions of a warzone. Third, I present evidence that shifts our knowledge of the starting date of the War on Terror's response to the attacks of 11 September 2001. The point is further made that an individual may be unaware of the existence of a war until they are impacted by its far- reaching policies, even in a country that is not at war. My penultimate contribution in this thesis is to argue that the War on Terror represents a continuum in terms of its language, epistemology and ontology. Finally, I consider my own positionality to the subject of my fieldwork, as a Muslim who has worked for and on the cases of those who are Muslim, within an environment of suspicion.
Supervisor: Toros, Harmonie Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral