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Terrorism, Organised Crime and the Biopolitics of Violence

Toros, Harmonie, Mavelli, Luca (2013) Terrorism, Organised Crime and the Biopolitics of Violence. Critical Studies on Terrorism, 6 (1). pp. 73-91. ISSN 1753-9153. (doi:10.1080/17539153.2013.765701) (The full text of this publication is not currently available from this repository. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided) (KAR id:38522)

The full text of this publication is not currently available from this repository. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided.
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Despite the lack of consensus on a broadly accepted definition of terrorism, a vast majority of scholars agree that terrorist violence is intrinsically political in contrast to organised crime, which is viewed as mainly profit-driven. This article critically examines this widely accepted distinction and contends that it rests on a narrow definition of the “political”, which circumscribes political violence to organisations seeking to overthrow the government, change the political system or alter the boundaries of a state. Drawing on a Foucauldian biopolitical understanding of the political, we argue that the pursuit of economic goals for criminal organisations cannot be disentangled from practices of governmentality which, through the production of disciplinary and regulatory norms, contribute to the construction of distinctive subjectivities and political orders. In order to advance this argument, we focus on the case of the Neapolitan Camorra as a biopolitical actor and contend that its use of violence aimed at the creation of “docile bodies” able and willing to sustain its system and reproduce its order not only challenges the distinction between “political” terrorism and “profit-driven” organised crime, but also has implications for the study of terrorism. In particular, the analysis carried out in this article suggests the need to investigate biopolitical practices beyond a narrow focus on the state by exploring the largely neglected biopolitics of violence of non-state armed groups and examining whether this focus may open new paths for the transformation of conflicts marked by terrorist violence.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1080/17539153.2013.765701
Uncontrolled keywords: terrorism, organised crime, biopolitics, violence, Camorra
Subjects: H Social Sciences
J Political Science
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Human and Social Sciences > School of Politics and International Relations
Depositing User: Luca Mavelli
Date Deposited: 03 Mar 2014 14:48 UTC
Last Modified: 16 Nov 2021 10:14 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

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