Globalisation, Citizenship and the War on Terror

Globalisation, Citizenship and the War on Terror

Edited by Maurice Mullard and Bankole A. Cole

This book explores globalisation and the war on terror in a world that is becoming increasingly and significantly polarised and in which dialogue is undermined. The authors contend that citizenship does not obey a static definition, and that its meaning is located in changing economic, social and political contexts. Equally, civil, political and social rights are continually being politically defined. The war on terror has, the book argues, influenced issues of civil liberties and prioritised the need for ‘security’ over and above the protection of human rights: it has redefined the meaning of the rule of law.

Chapter 13: The Oppressive Discourse of Global Exclusion: The ‘War on Terror’ as a War on Difference and Freedom

Andrew Robinson

Subjects: law - academic, human rights, politics and public policy, human rights, international politics, international relations, terrorism and security


13. The oppressive discourse of global exclusion: the ‘war on terror’ as a war on difference and freedom Andrew Robinson INTRODUCTION Globalisation has had ambiguous effects in relation to social exclusion. One of the effects of globalisation has been the reconstruction of nation states as transmission belts for neo-liberal policies and agendas, and the resultant reconstruction of national citizenship as conformity to a model of employability and productive usefulness (Sklair, 2000; Robinson, 2004; Moore, 2005). Another is the growth of hybridities on a global scale, such that discourses of homogeneity are rendered increasingly fictional and are defensible only as mythical impositions (Bhabha, 1993; Appadurai, 2001; Gilroy, 2004). The practice of state repression must be viewed as operating at the intersection of these logics, as an attempt to impose neo-liberal homogeneity in a context of centrifugal forces – an enforcement of economic globalisation in the face of social and cultural heterogeneity. It is in this context that the rise of new forms of repression must be viewed, as a project for reconstructing conformist and majoritarian identities so as to articulate these to the neo-liberal project and construct a social support base for the imposition of state control. This duality in globalisation is constructing new kinds of social and class conflicts, with the concept of ‘citizenship’ one of several establishing a borderline between the in-group and its other. The conflict between included and excluded is superseding class conflicts among the included as the source of social antagonism...

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