Constructing Enemies: 'Islamic Terrorism' in Political and Academic Discourse

Richard Dean Wells Jackson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

309 Citations (SciVal)


The term 'Islamic terrorism' has become a ubiquitous feature of Western political and academic counter-terrorism discourse in recent years. Examining over 300 political and academic texts and employing a discourse analytic approach, this article attempts to describe and dissect the central terms, assumptions, labels, narratives and genealogical roots of the language and knowledge of 'Islamic terrorism' and to reflect on its practical and normative consequences. It concludes that for the most part, political and academic discourses of 'Islamic terrorism' are unhelpful, not least because they are highly politicized, intellectually contestable, damaging to community relations and practically counter-productive.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)394-426
Number of pages33
JournalGovernment and Opposition
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2007


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