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Sunderland Repository records the research produced by the University of Sunderland including practice-based research and theses.

What about Hope? A Critical Analysis of Pre-empting Childhood Radicalisation

Dresser, Paul (2019) What about Hope? A Critical Analysis of Pre-empting Childhood Radicalisation. In: Boundary Breaking - Faculty of Education and Society First Annual Staff Research Conference, 4th June, 2019, University of Sunderland. (Unpublished)

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)


Studies posits a convergence between radicalisation, vulnerability, and children to construct a new category of abuse — ‘childhood radicalisation’ (Stanley and Guru 2015; Coppock and McGovern, 2014; c.f. Dryden, 2017; Stanley, 2018). Specifically focusing on the UK PREVENT programme, this paper theoretically explores the ways childhood has become interrelated with counter-radicalisation. Whilst PREVENT is not exclusively geared towards children, the Counter-Terrorism and Security Act (2015) consolidates PREVENT as a protectionist, safeguarding endeavour; this, essentially, reconfigures the would-be-terrorist through a discourse of victimhood. I submit that children occupy a central position within pre-emptive counter-radicalisation measures which attempt to manage ontologically insecure futures. To theoretically make sense of this epistemic shift, this paper is inspired by Ernst Bloch’s ‘ontology of the not-yet’. I draw upon critical geographies of hope and hopefulness as a viable theoretical tool to explain the ontological conditions which redefine PREVENT as safeguarding. In doing so, this paper traverses subject boundaries encompassing critical geography, political science, and critical terrorism studies (CTS). I present this inter-disciplinary approach as useful in capturing PREVENT in terms of performativity, anticipatory security, and the figuration of the child.

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Depositing User: Paul Dresser


Item ID: 10829

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ORCID for Paul Dresser: ORCID iD

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Date Deposited: 04 Jun 2019 13:00
Last Modified: 31 Mar 2020 08:25