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Interpretation, judgement and dialogue: a hermeneutical recollection of causal analysis in critical terrorism studies

Lucas, Van Milders (2017) Interpretation, judgement and dialogue: a hermeneutical recollection of causal analysis in critical terrorism studies. Critical Studies on Terrorism, 10 (2). pp. 220-239. ISSN 1753-9153. E-ISSN 1753-9161. (doi:10.1080/17539153.2017.1335383) (KAR id:61969)

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This article problematises Critical Terrorism Studies’s (CTS) seem- ing reluctance to engage in causal explanation. An analysis of the meta-theoretical assumptions on causation in both orthodox and critical terrorism studies reveals that the latter’s refusal to incor- porate causal analysis in its broader research agenda reproduces – despite its commitment to epistemological pluralism – the for- mer’s understanding of causation as the only sustainable one. Elemental to this understanding is the idea that causation refers to the regular observation of constant conjunction. Due to the positivist leanings of such a conception, CTS is quick to dismiss it as consolidating Orthodox Terrorism Studies’s lack of critical self- reflexivity, responsibility of the researcher, and dedication towards informing state-led policies of counterterrorism. Drawing on recent work in the philosophy of science and International Relations, this article advances an alternative understanding of causation that emphasises its interpretative, normative and dialo- gical fabric. It is therefore argued that CTS should reclaim causal analysis as an essential element of its research agenda. This not only facilitates a more robust challenge against Orthodox Terrorism Studies’ conventional understanding of causation but also consolidates CTS’s endeavour of deepening and broadening our understanding that (re)embeds terrorist violence in its histor- ical and social context.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1080/17539153.2017.1335383
Uncontrolled keywords: Terrorism; causation; orthodox versus critical terrorism studies
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Human and Social Sciences > School of Politics and International Relations
Depositing User: L. Van-Milders
Date Deposited: 07 Jun 2017 09:07 UTC
Last Modified: 29 Sep 2021 10:22 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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