The Core Commitments of Critical Terrorism Studies

Richard Dean Wells Jackson

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Critical terrorism studies (CTS) is founded firstly on a series of powerful critiques of the current state of orthodox terrorism studies, including: its poor methods and theories, its state centricity, its problem-solving orientation and its institutional and intellectual links to state security projects. Defined broadly by a sceptical attitude towards accepted terrorism 'knowledge', CTS is also characterised by a set of core epistemological, ontological and ethical commitments, including: an appreciation of the politically constructed nature of terrorism knowledge; an awareness of the inherent ontological instability of the 'terrorism' category; a commitment to critical reflexivity regarding the uses to which research findings are put; a set of well-defined research ethics and a normative commitment to an emancipatory political praxis.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)244–251
JournalEuropean Political Science
Publication statusPublished - 2007


  • critical terrorism studies
  • ontology
  • epistemology
  • ethics


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