Inter|national Section Writer
Richard McNeil-Willson is a UK Research Council PhD researcher at the Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies, University of Exeter, and visiting researcher at Scuola Normale Superiore, Firenze and the University of Aarhus. He specialises in social movements, counter-terror legislation and Middle Eastern politics. Richard spent much of his youth in the deep rural heart of Norfolk.
As Islamic State strongholds tumble, the language of counter-terrorism in Europe and beyond expands exponentially.
Binaries lie at the heart of understanding terrorism and modern state security: ‘you’re either with us or against us’; a citizen of here or ‘a citizen of nowhere’; a supporter of the democratic, liberal state or ‘an enemy of freedom’. By targeting ‘us’ – both the individual and the state concurrently – terrorists force citizens into a position in which we all need to look beyond legal convention, to dispense with some rights to preserve others. So has trod the orthodox argument, refracted outwards from media, government and research.