Terrorism and Political Violence Association

Terrorism and Political Violence book publication

downloadTerrorism and Political Violence edited by Caroline Kennedy-Pipe, Gordon Clubb and Simon Mabon was published today.

This book introduces you to the key issues in contemporary studies on Terrorism. Its interdisciplinary approach provides a unique intellectual rigour which introduces readers to cutting-edge research.

Bringing together chapters contributed by members of the Terrorism and Political Violence Association network, it offers an insight into a variety of traditional and critical perspectives. It also equips Undergraduate and Postgraduate students with the study skills needed to succeed in coursework and assignments, especially dissertation work.

Drawing on the expertise of TAPVA members, this book:

  • Explores contemporary issues, such as drone warfare, state violence, children and political violence, cyber-terrorism and de-radicalisation.
  • Features case studies drawn from a range of international examples, lists of further reading, key concepts and questions for use in seminars and private study.
  • Provides you with study skills content designed to help you complete your dissertation.

This is the perfect textbook to guide you through your studies in terrorism, political violence, international security and strategic studies.

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Islamic State teach-in

10626374_789404181112551_7393311467186041445_oDate: Wednesday 15th October 2014, 3:00pm
Location: Room LG19, Michael Sadler Building, University of Leeds

Who is Islamic State? How are other states responding? How should the UK respond to returning fighters?


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Woolwich Murder: Countering Terrorism with ‘Likes’ and ‘Tweets’

Following the Woolwich murder, if you want to prevent or end terrorism attacks, the last thing to do is blame it on Islam, ‘like’ the EDL on Facebook, or call for retribution against Muslims. The whole point of terrorism tactics is it provokes an emotional response in its aftermath, so challenging the way people respond and the comments they make is a crucial aspect of countering terrorism. The Home Secretary, Theresa May, is in an excellent position to take the lead in framing this murder in a productive way, however, she made a crucial mistake in saying how it was an attack on all of us. A successful counter-terrorism frame should adopt three components: criminalise; contextualise; individualise.

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Conflict in Northern Ireland: 20th Anniversary of the IRA’s Ceasefire

Date: Thursday 8th May 2013, 10:00 – 15:00
Location: SR(8.49n) Worsely Building, University of Leeds

In 1994, the Provisional Irish Republican Army called a ceasefire that paved the way for the Northern Irish peace process and an end to the thirty-year conflict. Twenty years on, POLIS and the Terrorism and Political Violence Association invite you to the University of Leeds to discuss the legacy of this momentous event.

The workshop will be useful for students with an interest in conflict, peace studies and terrorism studies.

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Terrorism, Radicalisation and (Counter) Narratives

Date: Saturday 26th May 2013
Location: G.36, Baines Wing, University of Leeds

The workshop plans to bring together academics from across the country to present and discuss papers relating to the key themes of Terrorism, Radicalisation and Narratives. The event will be held in the Parkinson building at the centre of the University of Leeds Campus.

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Horizon Scanning: 21st Century Insecurities

London, June 14-16th 2013

Horizon Scanning 21st Century Insecurities was a conference organised by the Terrorism and Political Violence Association and the Institute for Strategic Dialogue (48 Charles Street, London W1J 5EN).

The conference brought together academics, think-tank researchers, NGO and government officials to facilitate knowledge-exchange on contemporary and future security challenges.

3-Day Registration Fee: £120.00. Individual day registration fees: Friday: £50.00; Saturday: £60.00; Sunday: £55.00

Queries should be directed to tapva@leeds.ac.uk

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Terrorist Plots, Self-Radicalisation and the Internet: Who is Afraid of Inspire?

Catching up on the recent news of a foiled suicide bombing plot in Birmingham, UK, my attention was caught by the way in which virtually all coverage suggested that the three arrested men had self-radicalised online. The Guardian, for example, reported that:

The men from Birmingham are the latest group of British-based extremists to be radicalised by the preachings of the now-dead Anwar Al-Awlaki, the one-time leader of Al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula.

His extremist message continues to be spread from beyond the grave through the English language terror manual he created, Inspire magazine, which is still disseminated via internet forums despite robust attempts by the security services in the UK and abroad to stop it. Videos of sermons by Awlaki were still available late Thursday on YouTube

The Daily Mail similarly wrote:

The group were inspired to mass murder by the internet rantings of US-born Yemeni extremist Anwar Al-Awlaki.

And their sophisticated plot provoked fears at the highest levels of Government about a wave of self-starting ‘Nike’ terrorists, so called because of Al-Awlaki’s rallying cry of ‘just do it’ – the sportswear company’s catchphrase […] They fear other fanatics have been self-radicalised and could decide unprompted to launch suicide missions in Britain.

I find such coverage disturbing for two reasons. First it contains widespread—yet simplistic to the extreme—claims about radicalisation. Those that assume that stumbling on Al Qaeda cleric’s online sermon (or even consuming that material over time) will turn an ordinary individual into a radical bent on the mass slaughter of fellow citizens. Second—and this is the most worrying aspect—is that such nonsense actually reflects the thinking of British authorities, particularly of those officials who talk to the media when terrorist plots are discovered: journalists, in these cases, are heavily reliant on police, security, and intelligence sources. Possibly supported in their belief by literature on “lone wolves” (of which you can see an example here), officials are not only contributing to spreading internet technophobia and the notion that extremism can be caught like a virus. They are doing so in full view of evidence that points to completely different radicalisation dynamics. This matters if those involved in counterterrorism do not want to see only what they wish to see, and if radicalisation is to be tackled effectively.

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Publishing Opportunity: Call for Chapter Proposals

With Sage as publishers, TAPVA is currently working on a book that draws on the expertise of the network. The book, Terrorism and Political Violence: the evolution of contemporary insecurity, is being edited by Caroline Kennedy-Pipe, Gordon Clubb, and Simon Mabon, with a foreword from Alex Schmid. The book will be aimed at 1st year to Masters’ students. In the book, we aim to explore how militant groups, their supporters and the state evolves throughout the life-cycle of violence, particularly in the face of broader social change.

To this end, we invite chapter proposals from members of TAPVA. We currently have the following chapters available with possible areas for exploration in brackets, but are open to additional chapter ideas:

  • Philosophical Issues: the Right to Resist and Exist (Objectivity/Subjectivity, philosophical though on violence, orientalism and othering)
  • Global Systems of Terrorism (Old and new terrorism, waves of terrorism theory, globalisation and terrorism, systems and network theory approaches)
  • The Organisation of Terrorist Violence (Ideology and identity, organisatinal structures, tactics and strategy)          
  • Society and Supporters (Hearts and Minds, Recruitment, financing and arming, relations and types of support (impact upon behaviour), family, kinship and friends
  • Mediation and Resolution (Negotiaions and mediation, transitions and peace-processes, cease-fires, Disarmament, de-mobilisation and re-integration, spoilers and splinter groups)
  • Victims of Violent Conflict (The role of victims, child soldiers, aid, community work and projects)
  • Military Conflict (drone warfare, IEDs and targeted killings, military intervention, counter-insurgency, Diaspora groups/blowback/immigration)
  • Criminal-Legal CT Approaches (Policing and intelligence, international co-operation, counter-narratives and counter-radicalisation, de-radicalisation and prison programmes)

If you are interested in writing a chapter, please send an outline of 150 words to tapva@leeds.ac.uk by 12th January 2013. There will be a relatively quick turnaround as we will need chapters of around 7000 words by July, so please bear this in mind when considering this proposal. The book is to be published by Sage in 2014.

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