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Western State Terrorism

Blakeley, Ruth and Raphael, Sam (2016) Western State Terrorism. In: Jackson, Richard, ed. The Routledge Handbook of Critical Terrorism Studies. Routledge, Abingdon, Oxfordshire, pp. 159-169. ISBN 978-0-415-74376-1. E-ISBN 978-1-315-81346-2. (Access to this publication is currently restricted. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided) (KAR id:44065)

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States use terror to achieve political ends, by employing violence to ensure compliance and to coerce populations away from dissent. Moreover, despite popular understandings of terrorism as a ‘strategy of the weak’ used against liberal democracies, an examination of the history of Western foreign policy shows that democracies have often returned to the use of state terror in order to cement their regional or global dominance. This chapter explores the use of state terror by the West, and seeks to provide an understanding of its underlying purposes. We argue that Western state terror is one of a number of coercive tools used to secure and maintain access to resources and markets, whether in colonial times, during periods of imperial decline, or as an adjunct to the more recent roll-out of neoliberal forms of globalisation.

Item Type: Book section
Projects: The Globalisation of Rendition and Secret Detention
Uncontrolled keywords: state terrorism, neoliberalism, human rights law, counterinsurgency, torture
Subjects: J Political Science
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Human and Social Sciences > School of Politics and International Relations
Funders: Economic and Social Research Council (
Depositing User: Ruth Blakeley
Date Deposited: 06 Nov 2014 10:33 UTC
Last Modified: 17 Aug 2022 12:20 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

University of Kent Author Information

Blakeley, Ruth.

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