Regions of Risk: Western Discourses on Terrorism and the Significance of Islam
Studies in Conflict & Terrorism
abstract
Terrorism is a word that everyone across the globe has become familiar with in the wake of the events of 11 September 2001. The rhetoric about these events, however, is more than mere commentary seeking to understand the cause of or apportion blame for such attacks and forms part of a much wider western discourse invoked to describe unfamiliar cultures and landscapes. In fact, terrorism is only the most recent in a long line of dangerous conditions that have come to represent how certain areas of the non-western world are usually imagined and subsequently depicted as regions of risk. This article argues that 'tropicality,' 'development,' and 'vulnerability' form part of one and the same essentializing and generalizing cultural discourse with 'terrorism' that historically denigrate large regions of the world as disease-ridden, poverty-stricken, disaster-prone and terrorist-spawning. Reprinted by permission of Taylor & Francis Ltd.