Throughout this chapter, the key concepts of terrorism, policing and prevention — concepts that underpin and affect CONTEST and in particular Prevent and Pursue — will be discussed. Acknowledging that terrorism and extremism are social, political and legal construction is key, as associated discourses have changed and shifted, constantly reshaping and reframing public perceptions, counter-terrorism legislation and government policy. The CONTEST strategy plays an important role in reinforcing the socially constructed concept of terrorism, and legitimising the government’s response to jihadi terrorism. The legal construction is important because it provides CONTEST with a framework within which the police and other agencies can act to combat terrorism. This chapter argues that political violence linked to jihadi extremism is framed as terrorism and is not abstract. It is through the application of terrorism laws and policy that the ‘lived realities’ of the wider society, and in particular Muslim communities in the UK, are continually shaped and reshaped.
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