A Critical Theory of Counterterrorism: Ontology, Epistemology and Normativity

A Critical Theory of Counterterrorism: Ontology, Epistemology and Normativity

by Sondre Lindahl


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This book offers a theory and model of counterterrorism based on emancipation and non-violence.

Critical Terrorism Studies (CTS) scholars have produced wide-ranging and rich critiques of terrorism-related research, as well as state counterterrorism policies and practices. This work aims to fill in a gap in the current literature by constructing an original and specifically CTS model of counterterrorism. The model outlines the basic assumptions, priorities, principles, strategies and tactics, measures and evaluation of counterterrorism. It challenges prevalent models of counterterrorism through a radical rethinking of the ontology, epistemology and the agenda of counterterrorism. The model aims to prevent future acts of terrorism by (1) re-conceptualising how we study and understand terrorism, and; (2) suggesting that our efforts to counter and prevent terrorism must commensurate with the goals we want to achieve. Essentially, this involves a commitment to emancipation, and a rejection of violence as a tool. The second part of the book is a case study of Norwegian counterterrorism which shows how the theory and model developed in the book can be used. This is the first substantial analysis of Norwegian counterterrorism in almost ten years, and produces encouraging findings which support the potential for non-violent solutions to terrorism.

This book will be of particular interest to students of terrorism and counterterrorism, critical security studies, and international relations in general.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780815359234
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Publication date: 06/29/2018
Series: Routledge Critical Terrorism Studies Series
Pages: 188
Product dimensions: 6.25(w) x 9.25(h) x (d)

About the Author

Sondre Lindahl holds a PhD in Peace and Conflict Studies from the National Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies, University of Otago, New Zealand.

Table of Contents


1: The Global War on Terror

2: Ontology, Epistemology and the Ideal-Type

3: Normativity

4: Violence

5: A CTS Model

6: A Genealogy of Norwegian Counterterrorism

7: An Analysis of Norwegian Counterrorism

8: Conclusion

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