[Solution]Terrorism after 9/11- The Meaning(s) of 9/11?

• Material aspects of the War on Terror are linked to the meaning(s) we assigned to 9/11 – How was meaning ascribed to events of…

• Material aspects of the War on
Terror are linked to the meaning(s) we assigned to 9/11

– How was meaning ascribed to events
of 9/11?

– Why some meanings and not others?

 – Continued search for meaning in the ongoing
WOT?

– What is involved in the
construction of meaning?

Language

• Material importance of language

– Back to the role of mass media

– “The mass media are key elements
of our symbolic environment… they help to construct meaning” (Althiede) – Fear
must always be interpreted

Fear and Interpretation

• What sorts of things will affect
our interpretations and reactions to stimuli? How do we decide what to fear and
why? – Pre-existing beliefs – Ideology – Historical context – Social context –

Leadership

– Pre-existing beliefs

– Ideology

– Historical context

– Social context

– Leadership

Regimes of Truth?

• Regimes of truth about the WOT:

– “..materially grounded, self perpetuating
assumptions in which the accepted truths about terrorism and its war appear
external and self-evident” (Jackson 2011).

• Require “conditions of
possibility” to gain purchase (aka “felicity conditions”)

Ideas and Practice

• The meaning of 9/11 and the WOT
were expressed and constructed by

1. …a set of rhetorical and
ideational elements, and

2. …an array of material practices

• The 2 mutually reinforce and
construct one another

The Meaning(s) of 9/11

• So what did 9/11 mean? What were
the ideational and rhetorical devices used to assign meaning to the terrorist
attacks by al Qaeda?

– Public language used by leaders
and media

 – “Act of war”

– “Evil-doers”

 – WMDs

Material Practices of the War on
Terror

• What were the material practices
and actions that then went on to construct the WOT?

– Military actions in Afgh, Iraq,
Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, Philippines etc.

– Increased military spending

– Intelligence gathering and
surveillance

– Diplomacy and COIN

– DHS and the PATRIOT Act

– Torture and Rendition Terrorism
after 9/11- Material Practices of the War on Terror • Central narratives (aka
Regimes of Truth) of the WOT

– 9/11 was an “act of war”

– Terrorism is the most serious
security threat today

– Religious (Muslim) terrorism is
more lethal/less rational

– WOT is
necessary/legitimate/defensive/just

– Exceptional security practices are
legitimate

– Pre-emptive attacks are justified
Terrorism after 9/11

Central Narratives of the War on
Terror

• Central narratives (aka Regimes of
Truth) of the WOT

– 9/11 was an “act of war”

– Terrorism is the most serious
security threat today

– Religious (Muslim) terrorism is
more lethal/less rational

– WOT is
necessary/legitimate/defensive/just

– Exceptional security practices are
legitimate

– Pre-emptive attacks are justified
The post Terrorism after 9/11- The Meaning(s) of 9/11?

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