What are the political consequences of existing dominant narratives concerning terrorism and counter-terrorism?

King Is Dead Long Live The King
King Is Dead Long Live The King

Statue of Liberty

9/11 has changed the way people viewed the world. During the last two decades, it has played an enormous role in re-establishing the new western and international security policy. The Statue of Liberty as the background of my poster and the torch lamp which is surrounded by the very few examples of the worse terroristic attacks in the US, demonstrates the long-term ineradicable experience of terrorism in the history of the United States. However, despite the numbers of many practices that have been established as well as exercised in regards with counter-terrorism, terroristic acts still occur regularly. Therefore, terrorism studies have been placed under the criticism due to its lack of analytic research and failure of developing the tendency to characterize the terrorism as evil (Jackson, 2005).

The king is dead, long live the king

The photos of Osama bin Laden and Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi over the famous French statement, “The king is dead, long live the king” expresses the military response by the US counter-terrorism policy after the 9/11. It ironically underlines the consequences of the ‘War on Terror’. What degree of success have we achieved in the ‘WOT’? Other than the expenses that has reached more than $1.7 trillion dollars since 2001? (McCarthy, 2015), And the spread of Jihadi terrorism from Central Asia across to the Middle East and onto the African Continent, which now is also booming on European borders (English, 2015). Richard Jackson (2005), notes that the idea of current ‘WOT’ demonstrates the same ideology of earlier “wars on terrorism” declared by the Regan and Clinton administrations. Thus, there is a real argument to claim that the current approach to counter-terrorism has already been historically proved to be helpless. Killing the one is not a solution, as one is always replaced by another one. Terrorists do not simply just sacrifice their lives in suicidal attacks for the sake of evil, in fact, we should try and understand the history and context of terrorism, as well as what its real causes and stimulating motives are.

Mind the Gap

On the other hand, the discourse of the “war on terrorism”, as it is presently organized, stimulates an unhealthy influence over a democratic society (Jackson, 2005). The familiar phrase from the London Underground “Mind the Gap” splits the poster apart at the bottom, and creates the imitation of two opposing sides. The left highlights the people affected by Islamophobia, while on the right sides loyal group of Muslims are peacefully practicing their prayer. The poll conducted by YouGov earlier in 2015, uncovers the unfavourable attitudes toward Islam and Muslim people. As reported, about 55% of Americans believe that Islam compared to any other religion, is more certain to promote disorder and terrorism (Moore, 2015). Unfortunately, that is one of the worse outcome of the political language that has been spoken after 9/11.


  • Richard Jackson, ‘Security, Democracy and the Rhetoric of Counter-Terrorism, Democracy and Security, vol.1, no. 2 (2005), pp. 147-171.
  • English, R. (2015). Illusions of terrorism and counter-terrorism. Oxford: Oxford University Press, p.40.




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