Crypto and empire: the contradictions of counter-surveillance advocacy

Since Edward Snowden’s revelations of US and UK surveillance programs, privacy advocates, progressive security engineers, and policy makers have been seeking to win majority support for countering surveillance. The problem is framed as the replacement of targeted surveillance with mass surveillance programs, and the solutions put forward are predominantly technical and involve the use of…

Draft paper on Islamophobia as lay ideology of US-led empire

In this draft academic paper, Islamophobia is analyzed as a “lay ideology” that offers an everyday “common sense” explanatory framework for making sense of mediated crisis events (such as terrorist attacks) in ways that disavow those events’ political meanings (rooted in empire, racism, and resistance) and instead explain them as products of a reified “Muslimness.”…

Dirty Wars: the World is a Battlefield

A review of Dirty Wars: the World is a Battlefield by Jeremy Scahill (New York, Nation Books, 2013). During his first term in office, Obama’s primary achievement in national security policy was the creation of silence. After the loud, divisive controversies of the Bush years, a bipartisan, media-endorsed consensus emerged. The official line was that invasions, torture, secret…

Radicalisation: the journey of a concept

Since 2004, the term ‘radicalisation’ has become central to terrorism studies and counter-terrorism policy-making. As US and European governments have focused on stemming ‘home-grown’ Islamist political violence, the concept of radicalisation has become the master signifier of the late ‘war on terror’ and provided a new lens through which to view Muslim minorities. The introduction…

Blind Spot? Security narratives and far-Right violence in Europe

This paper discusses the challenges of countering far-Right political violence in the wake of the terrorist attack carried out by Anders Behring Breivik in Norway in July 2011. With brief case studies of Britain, the Netherlands, Denmark and Belgium, it argues that classic neo-Nazi groups are being supplemented by new ‘counter-jihadist’ far-Right movements, which use…