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Title: The subjugated knowledge of Prevent : UK terrorism pre-emption and the disruptive history of Northern Ireland
Author: Pettinger, Tom
ISNI:       0000 0004 9358 354X
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 2020
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This thesis explores the relationship between Britain's counter-radicalization programme Prevent and the testimony of those convicted of terrorism offences in Northern Ireland. The research explores the striking contradiction whereby Northern Ireland does not implement radicalization pre-emption despite its active dissident groups and notorious history of conflict, yet the rest of the UK does. Utilizing primary interviews with 17 Prevent officials (including Channel's hard-to-reach ‘de-radicalization’ mentors) and over 30 Northern Irish former combatants, the thesis performs a discourse analysis to expose the two fundamentally different ways of knowing terrorism risk in the UK. It undertakes a critical exposition of Prevent's construction and navigation of risk, asking how ‘pre-crime risk’ is observed and intervened upon only on one side of the border, when a fragile ceasefire best describes post-conflict reality on the other. How does the discourse of radicalization subjugate the history of political insurgency in Northern Ireland, rendering it invisible, and what reality is constructed through these silences? Through substantial empirical investigation, the thesis explores how pre-emptive security closes down space for political contestation – ultimately inventing the ‘(de)radicalizable subject’ though a rationality infused with insecurity. To construct this subject, the discourse of ‘risk’ and ‘pre-emption’ has to silence the history of insurgency in Northern Ireland and the voices of its perpetrators. These militants staunchly rebut any narrative that they were ‘vulnerable’ to radicalization, but rather were heroes who actively chose armed rebellion. This thesis brings the disjuncture of UK terrorism knowledge to the forefront, exposing how the discourse of risk, vulnerability, and pre-emption necessarily silences militant testimonies – inventing a world without referring to its inhabitants.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare ; JC Political theory