Historical Social Research

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Michael Dunning‘Established and Outsiders’: Brutalisation Processes and the Development of ‘Jihadist Terrorists’ [Abstract]

The attacks in Paris in November 2015, the conflict in Syria and Iraq and the huge amount of political and media attention that these issues have had show that the problem of ‘jihadist terrorism’ is significant for Western nation-states. In this paper I examine some of the interdependent processes and relationships that have been contributing to ‘jihadist terrorism’ and use a number of figurational concepts with which to do this, including ‘established-outsider figurations,’ ‘double-binds’ and ‘decivilising processes.’ I focus specifically on the November 2015 Paris attacks and with the use of media reports and government documents discuss how the language used reveals the complexities of the ‘established-outsider’ figurations and double-binds that Western nation-states and ‘jihadists’ are locked into with each other, and how the structures of these relationships are contributing to ‘decivilising’ or ‘brutalisation’ processes of Western ‘jihadists.’ These brutalisation processes are, in turn, ‘feeding back’ and contributing to the double-binds within which Western nation-states and jihadist are caught.


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