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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Critical terrorism studies and its implications for Africa
Author:Solomon, HusseinISNI
Periodical:Politikon: South African Journal of Political Studies (ISSN 1470-1014)
Geographic terms:Africa
Islamic movements
regional security
External link:https://doi.org/10.1080/02589346.2015.1041671
Abstract:In Somalia, the African Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) forces are engaged in a fierce counter-insurgency campaign against Al Shabab terrorists. Regional and international players such as Ethiopia and the USA support AMISOM. In northern Mali, French forces together with those of the Economic Community of West African States are involved in vicious battles with Islamists in the form of Ansar Dine, the Movement for Unity and Jihad and Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb. In northern Nigeria, security forces are engaged in bloody battles again the Islamist sect Boko Haram. In all three cases, success in a traditional realist sense is far from assured and traditional counter-terrorism measures are actually counter-productive since it refuses to acknowledge the underlying complexity giving rise to radical Islamist movements. Adopting a critical terrorism studies approach, with an emphasis on the emancipatory approach of the Aberystwyth School, this paper argues that traditional counter-terrorism would only serve to perpetuate the conflict in these countries further. The situation is exacerbated since there is a refusal to recognize the legitimate demands of the other through the creation of the stereotype of the irrational and cruel other. Traditional counter-terrorism studies are also problematic in that it refuses to acknowledge that the historic and economic conditions contributing to the emergence of Boko Haram. In a similar vein, the Tuareg Islamists of Northern Mali see their own identity as indivisible with that of their homeland Azawad; something which neither the Malian government nor international forces are prepared to acknowledge. Moreover, and in line with critical terrorism studies, the paper adopts an inter-disciplinary approach that examines the complexity of the problems these polities confront, including governance, history, anthropology and the manner African states are inserted into the global political economy. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]