Class war-on-terror: counterterrorism, accumulation, crisis

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14 Citations (Scopus)


This article discusses US counterterrorism from a class perspective. It sees counterterrorism as a state policy with differential effects on different social classes. In doing so, the article starts to address a lacuna in critical studies of counterterrorism, which tend to be rather structural and formal, thus ignoring the pertinence of counterterrorism to the field of social dynamics. To partly rectify this blind spot by addressing some class implications of counterterrorism, the article examines the effects of counterterrorism policy on capital accumulation and its social conditions. It notes that counterterrorism has different implications along class-lines: for dominant capital, it signifies appropriation of public money and direct participation in political decisions; for everyone else, it means material dispossession and political exclusion. Given that counterterrorism was developed between two crises of neoliberalism, the article distinguishes between economic crises, which tend to benefit capitalism, and political crises, which can be destructive, and suggests that counterterrorism is partly a restructuring of the neoliberal state so that it can manage recurring economic crises, while preventing their evolution into political ones.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)55-71
JournalCritical Studies on Terrorism
Issue number1
Early online date9 Apr 2015
Publication statusPublished - 2015


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