Fundamentalism, extremism, terrorism

Commonalities, differences and policy implications of ‘blacklisting’

Authored by: Hans J. Giessmann

The Routledge Handbook of International Crime and Justice Studies

Print publication date:  August  2013
Online publication date:  August  2013

Print ISBN: 9780415781787
eBook ISBN: 9780203837146
Adobe ISBN: 9781136868504


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After 9/11 and the Global War on Terrorism (GWOT), which was declared by the Bush administration immediately after the terrorist incidents, the practice of proscribing individuals, groups, organisations and even states that were suspected of having collaborated with al-Qaida by providing funds, training sites or hide-outs became significantly expanded and improved. The international, but even more the national, practices of proscription affected not only some terrorist groups and cells, but were also applied to a larger group of resistance and liberation movements who were labelled terrorists by the governments to which they were opposed. This chapter will shed light on crucial political problems that emerge if different types of actors become involved in terrorist activities, but also if sanctions fail to sufficiently distinguish between terrorist perpetrators and other non-state ‘power contenders’ (Dudouet et al. 2012a: 4). It is based on a political analysis of the concept and practice of proscription, or blacklisting, which has become widely used by states and international organisations. It provides a preliminary assessment of the appropriateness and effectiveness of this practice. In doing so, the chapter will also discuss the lack of transparent ‘criteria’ that are applied in order for a group to be listed, and will provide a critical reflection of the role of ideologies that are considered by states and international organisations as providing the background and guidance for terrorism. The chapter will give attention to the impact of exclusive and reductionist counter-terrorism policies on the strategies and tactics of political opposition movements and will discuss related issues of confrontational group identities in the context of disputed legitimacy.

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