27 July 2012
Society in the Time of Terror
What is terrorism and how does it relate to society? Looking at the statistical evidence about terrorism immediately raises the question: "Why bother?" Even though lots of lives were lost in the 9/11 attacks (around 3000), that number is dwarfed by the number of deaths due to traffic accidents (around 42000 in the US in 2001) or murders (around 16000 in the US in 2001). The answer will often be that it is not so much the attack the have already happened, but the future attacks that could happen, that should be of interest to us. Either they will take the threat of future attacks very seriously and investigate the motives, strategies, tools, resources of terrorists. Or they will take the threat to be greatly overestimated and instead investigate how discourse on ‘terrorism', and different practices of counter-terrorism, can have much greater effects on society than any successful attack ever could. Department of Political Science and Governance.
Rasmus Ugilt Holten Jensen, Aarhus University
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