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The State of Injustice The Politics of Terrorism and the Production of Order1

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image of International Journal of Comparative Sociology
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The construct of terrorism, as it is used in contemporary research and media texts, emerges from 18th- and 19th-century orthodox assumptions of man, nation-state, and political sovereignty. In this paper, terrorism is examined as a discursive process in the art of statecraft from a sociological, comparative perspective. The discursive processes of two ostensible cultures of terrorism are compared: the United States and Italy. The analysis reveals the inextricable link between terrorism, statecraft, and the production of domination, injustice, and social order. It is a practice that privileges rhetorical language over direct experience. The value of analyzing terrorism as the product of a historically produced political discourse rather than as an essential human expression is that it has the potential to be replaced by a more heuristic construct.

Affiliations: 1: Department of Sociology, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305, U.S.A.


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