The Prevent paradox: destroying liberalism in order to protect it

Boukalas, Christos (2019) The Prevent paradox: destroying liberalism in order to protect it. Crime Law and Social Change. ISSN 0925-4994 (In Press)

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Counter-extremism is the most dynamic part of UK counterterrorism policy. This article examines Prevent, the flagship counter-extremism programme, through a state-theoretical lens. It addresses questions of state institutionality, state power, and state-society relations. It argues that counter-extremism aims to avert the possibility of a political future by repressing the formation of non-liberal political subjectivities. To achieve this, Prevent divides society along political lines; aligns welfare institutions with the security apparatus; mobilises society in a security endeavour; exercises an authoritarian ‘pastoral’ power; replaces trust with generalised suspicion; and construes subjectivities without capacity for historical agency. Therefore, Prevent is a political paradox: an anti-liberal project aiming to secure and perpetuate liberalism.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: L200 Politics
M900 Other in Law
Department: Faculties > Business and Law > Northumbria Law School
Depositing User: Paul Burns
Date Deposited: 20 Mar 2019 10:14
Last Modified: 11 Oct 2019 10:21

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