A Plateau of Exceptionality, 2007–2011

  • Kathryn Marie Fisher
Part of the New Security Challenges book series (NSECH)


In Chapter 7, we argued that particular discourses of identity enabled an amplification of exceptional counterterrorism through the early years of the 21st century, with new permanent laws passed, strategy formed, and offices introduced. In this chapter, we discuss how such outcomes enabled a sustained normalization of the exception from 2007 to 2011, concluding with the introduction of TPIMs (Terrorism Prevention and Investigation Measures Act) in late 2011, replacing the 2005 Prevention of Terrorism Act’s (PTA) control orders. Insecurity was not entirely absent in this period, and a thwarted 2006 liquid explosives airliner plot was significant, but even so, how counterterrorism became normalized was not predetermined to unfold in the way that it did. As in prior decades, constructions of self and other continued to play a significant role in regard to what measures were considered necessary and appropriate. Affirmations in debate that “terrorists … really are scary people” whose release “back in society” from prison means “the threat is always there”.1 and statements that the “best place for a terrorist is a prison cell; I think we all agree on that”.2 continued to position counterterrorism laws as the key to effective strategies at countering terror. The significance of intersections of identity and security in such a context is helpfully explained by McAdam et al. in the context of contentious politics in that “[r]egimes … differ momentously in which kinds of organization, identity, and collective interaction they prescribe, tolerate, and forbid.


Muslim Community Fundamental Freedom Control Order International Terrorism Terrorist Threat 
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  1. 127.
    Stacey Gutkowski, “Secularism and the Politics of Risk: Britain’s Prevent Agenda, 2005–2009,” International Relations 25, no. 3 (2009): 358.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Kathryn Marie Fisher 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kathryn Marie Fisher
    • 1
  1. 1.National Defense UniversityUSA

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