On Thursday, 12 February 2015, the Counter-Terrorism and Security Bill received Royal Assent, becoming the Counter-Terrorism and Security Act (CTSA 2015) less than three months after the first reading was held in the House of Commons on 26 November 2014. Just over four decades after the first temporary counterterrorism law was introduced, similar measures continue to be passed, legitimized through a necessity of preventing a threat of terrorism constructed as threatening physical and societal insecurity. Such a dual focus on what referent’s survival is at risk brings us back to the earliest days of counterterrorism policy formation and discourses of legitimation. In a House of Commons debate in December 2014 on the then proposed CTSA, Secretary of State for the Home Department Theresa May (Con) started discussion in stating that “when our security and intelligence agencies tell us that the threat that we face is now more dangerous than at any time before or since 9/11, we must act”.1 The following month (January of 2015), Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Office Lord Bates (Con) called upon articulations of self and other reminiscent of past discourse in claiming, “[w]e are in the middle of a generational struggle against a ruthless terrorist ideology that challenges the core values of our society. Those charged with our security must be properly equipped to do the job that we ask of them to maintain a free, open and tolerant nation.
KeywordsPolitical Violence Identity Construction Control Order International Terrorism Identity Configuration
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