New article coming out in: Dynamics of Asymmetric Conflict, the next few months ...

Fractured Narratives and Pop-up Diaspora - Re-theorising the capillaries of power, terror and intimacy

Abstract

The problem of terrorism is both an immediate threat and a long-term issue of safety and social cohesion, locally and globally. An immediate threat requires relatively straightforward interventions. But our public debates seem to be focusing too much on 'fire-fighting' crisis management, and congratulating ourselves on instant emotional displays of solidarity, without paying enough attention to the substantial challenges of developing a broader social consensus, and a culture of mutual respect, without just going the easy route of saying ‘its all multiculturalism’. More specifically, we need to find new ways to understand how local and global issues intersect, and why the global hegemony of one or two superpowers no longer seems to deliver stability and security (even for themselves). This is particularly pertinent in a world where national borders have less and less relevance for the homogeneity of populations, cultures or values, and where whole communities, for instance, continue practices with impunity which are completely unacceptable to others – as well as being illegal, e.g. female genital mutilation on the one hand, and child sexual exploitation on the other. This paper explores the underlying theories and media structures which go some way to explain how fractures narratives and pop-up diaspora are possible, as well as, potentially, offering very attractive alternatives to the status quo. The theories may also provide a way to understand the underlying longer-term issues: the articulation of identity, culture, and power, and impact of micro-practices on global cohesion and security. The new globally connected social media have a central role to play in this analysis

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