Invitation to Terror / Edition 1

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Overview

Frank Furedi argues that Western culture appears to feed off a diet of terror and inadvertently offers its enemies an invitation to be terrorised.  We have not developed an intellectual framework in which to be able to confront the fear of terrorism.  The language we use betrays confusion about the threat we face and therefore undermines our capacity to engage with it.  Beginning with the question of ‘Why do they hate us?' we find ourselves unsure of who ‘they' are.  Even more unsettling is the realisation that we are not quite sure of who ‘we' are.  In this startling and original book Frank Furedi engages with some of the most fundamental questions confronting society today.
We are in a global conflict that appears so confusing that we are not even certain what to call it.  The failure to conceptualize the issues at stake is demonstrated by the absence of consensus around even what words to describe the meaning of the present conflict and enemy.  Suddenly governments stop speaking about the War on Terror and talk about the Long War.  The shift in terminology often betrays confusion about the issues at stake.  Lack of clarity about what this war is about, who are the protagonists, its scope and duration dominates discussions on this conflict.  Meaningless terms often represent an attempt to evade.  In this case they express confusion and the inability to make sense of life in the twenty-first century.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Author and University of Kent sociologist Furedi (Culture of Fear Revisited) stakes out a bold position in this exploration of the war on terror-in particular, its "self-fulfilling prophecy" effect, inspiring fear and passivity regardless of the actual danger. The only thing new about the "new terrorism," Furedi claims, is the perception that it's any more sophisticated or effective than terror used to be. Citing the resilience of populations who coped with attacks far beyond the capabilities of today's terrorists-such as the Nazi blitz and the Allied bombings of Hamburg and Hiroshima-Furedi argues convincingly that "terrorism cannot seriously threaten the integrity of society nor undermine the way of life of a nation." Though the British and American governments do have that power, Furedi contends that the war on terror is less a deliberate effort to cow or manipulate than it is a sincere but wrong-headed attempt to mobilize popular support-rooted in fact and genuine concern-by leaders who don't understand that "society can absorb occasional acts of terror," but that people become disoriented and demoralized living in a protracted state of fear. Referencing hundreds of independent studies, government reports and media commentary, Furedi contributes an insightful argument for a realistic, level-headed and self-aware approach to the problem of terrorism. (Dec.)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780826424549
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Academic
  • Publication date: 5/5/2009
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 240
  • Product dimensions: 5.30 (w) x 8.30 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Frank Furedi is Professor of Sociology at the University of Kent at Canterbury. He is the author of numerous books including Culture of Fear, Invitation to Terror and Paranoid Parenting, all published by Continuum.

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Table of Contents

Preface — Why Do They Hate Us?
Beyond Comprehension Perception of the Threat New Terrorism — a Self-fulfilling Prophecy The Expanding Empire of Unknown Dangers A Threat Beyond Meaning Enduring Vulnerability Perceptions of Terror and a Clash of Cultural Attitudes Towards Risk So What is the Problem of Terrorism?
Refusing to be Terrorized

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