chapter  4
14 Pages

4 Counter- terrorism as conflict transformation

WithLAURA ZAHRA McDONALD , BASIA SPALEK ,

Introduction The unprecedented transnationality, intensity and sustained activity of terror and counter-­terror­in­the­post-­9/11­era­has­defined­the­political,­social­and­strategic­direction­of­contemporary­nations­worldwide.­From­wars,­drone­attacks,­insurgencies,­ revolutions­ and­ coups,­ state­ foreign­ policies­ and­ internal­ security­ strategies,­ to­ community­tensions,­decreased­human­security­and­damaged­state-­citizen­engagement (Spalek et al. 2008, 2010, 2013): relations between and within nations have been­ shaped­ by­ and­ experienced­ through­ a­ lens­ of­ security­ and­ violence,­ both­ actual and threatened. The framework is one in which a cycle of violence has been perpetuated­and­sustained,­legitimised­by­oppositional­narratives­of­justice.­From­a­ state­perspective,­there­are­two­main­counter-­terrorism­goals:­responding­to­current­ threats­and­preventing­new­atrocities.­These­goals­may­be­pursued­through­wide-­ ranging­strategies,­ including­the­use­of­force,­ the­use­of­repressive­measures,­ the­ use­of­legalistic­measures­and/or­the­use­of­conciliatory­measures. ­ This­chapter­looks­at­the­validity­and­efficacy­of­the­frequently­used­and­varying­ forms­of­ ‘hard’­ strategy,­ including­ the­use­of­ stop­and­search,­detention­without­ charge­and­forms­of­repression.­‘Hard’­approaches­consist­of­those­that­are­explicitly­linked­to­counter-­terrorism­strategies­that­involve­surveillance­and­the­implementation of anti-terror laws and policies (Spalek and Imtoual 2007: 185-202). Such approaches may be effective (Ashour 2010) but also counterproductive (Weeks­2013):­the­question­that­this­chapter­therefore­seeks­to­raise­and­explore­ is­ whether­ an­ alternative­ framework­ of­ conflict­ transformation­ is­ possible,­ looking­at­current­and­future­trends­in­which­more­conciliatory­measures­are­utilised­ in­changing­relationships­between­ terrorists­and­ the­state.­The­balance­of­ power in such models is markedly different and based on notions of mutual recognition,­ cooperation­ and­ need.­ Those­ involved­ in­ terrorist­movements­ are­ expected to desist from violence, whilst states are expected to comply with the agreements­and­concessions­made,­ alongside­ the­maintenance­of­human­ rights­ and­ law.­This­chapter,­based­upon­empirical­data­gathered­by­ the­ConnectJustice1­ team­since­2007,­places­a­particular­emphasis­upon­exploring­conciliatory­ measures­that­might­be­adopted­by­drawing­on­the­experiences­and­perspectives­ of state and non-state actors in relation to counter-terrorism.