Security in the name of human rights: the discursive legitimation strategies of the war on terror in France

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Abstract

This article aims to question the discourse on “the war on terror” developed by the French President in the wake of the two terrorist attacks that occurred in France in 2015. Drawing from critical discourse analysis, it explores the discursive legitimation strategies deployed by President Hollande to legitimate France’s securitarian response to the two attacks. It reveals how the defence of human rights served as an overall justificatory framework, through rationalisation, appeals to authority, and moralisation. It argues that Hollande implemented a discursive manipulation of reality to shield his actions from criticisms of illiberalism, all the while reframing the notion of human rights, undermining it and paving the way for an authoritarian-driven executive.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)476-500
JournalCritical Studies on Terrorism
Volume10
Issue number3
Early online date7 Apr 2017
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2017

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