"Mamie Djihad”: constructing and disciplining the abject Other in everyday narratives

Ariane Bogain*

*Corresponding author for this work

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This article uses the trial of Christine Rivière, dubbed “Mamie Djihad”, sentenced to 10 years in prison for terrorism-related activities on her return from the Islamic State (IS) Caliphate, as a case study to explore the conceptualisation of IS returnees in everyday narratives in France. It employs Critical Discourse Analysis to investigate how online news users represented her, the extent to which they endorsed or challenged the official discourse that has securitised the repatriation issue and what their stance reveals about their conception of countering violent extremism. It contends that an extreme form of enemy penology underpins their approach to IS returnees. Drawing on Kristeva’s concept of the abject (1982), it will first demonstrate how gender, religion, class, and nationality intersected to exclude Rivière from the nation. It will then show how her radical rejection justified extreme solutions to neutralise her based on unfettered state power, punitive retaliatory justice, and Islamophobia, with far-reaching consequences. This study contributes to making sense of the discursive environment related to the repatriation of IS-related nationals beyond elite and media discourses.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-21
Number of pages21
JournalCambridge Review of International Affairs
Early online date28 Nov 2023
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 28 Nov 2023

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