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Conclusion: The Global Terrorism Dispositif and Its Critique

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Part of the Central and Eastern European Perspectives on International Relations Series book series (CEEPIR)

Abstract

This book historicizes terrorism and the construction of the terrorist subject in the discourse of states. It points out various present and past practices in which the subject has been constructed, and draws attention to some (but certainly not all) of the constitutive relations of power and knowledge that are at play in this – in principle, never-ending – process. It is a genealogical critique of terrorism. Such a critique arguably retains its purchase even as the White House proposes that the war on terror must seek new tactics (it was previously scratched from the administration’s vocabulary, but it has made its way back since).1 President Obama’s latest major speech on the subject well demonstrates the continuing purchase of the issues outlined in the previous chapters. Indeed, Obama claimed that the war on terror must not be ‘boundless’. Furthermore, he suggested that more oversight should be imposed on the use of drones outside ‘warzones’ (in Pakistan, Somalia and Yemen, where they are run by the CIA), as well as tighter standards (the government’s internal guidelines): the only case for an attack should now be a ‘continuing and imminent threat to the American people’ rather than to United States interests.2 But do the killings of an Al-Shabaab bombmaker (Ibrahim Ali) and even a Pakistani Taliban leader (Hakimullah Mehsud) that have taken place since then really conform to this new definition?

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Notes

  1. Barack Obama, a speech at the National Defense University, May 23, 2013.

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  2. Eli Lake and Josh Rogin, ‘Al-Qaeda Conference Call Intercepted by U.S. Officials Sparked Alerts,’ Newsweek, Aug. 7, 2013.

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© 2014 Ondrej Ditrych

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Ditrych, O. (2014). Conclusion: The Global Terrorism Dispositif and Its Critique. In: Tracing the Discourses of Terrorism. Central and Eastern European Perspectives on International Relations Series. Palgrave Macmillan, London. https://doi.org/10.1057/9781137394965_8

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