The BISA Critical Terrorism Studies Section is organizing a section entitled narratives of violence for the next BISA PGN Conference to be held at King’s College London, 30th of March 2015. The deadline for abstract submission is on the 21st of January 2015.
Call for Paper
Narratives are everyday stories we live by. It is through narratives that we come to know the world and our social identities. After all, we all tell stories about where we are from, our families and our jobs. We read books and newspapers and as such, are fully embedded in the concept of stories. Consequently, narratives are the principle and inescapable mode by which we experience the world. It is through narratives that both individuals and states understand and experience political violence. Whether they relate to a society grappling with lone-wolf acts, dictatorships attempting to maintain primacy over a restive population or the framing of an act of imperial overstretch, these narratives shape the way that such violence is perceived and responded to. Moreover, state centric narratives are often reinforced by their reproduction in the media, popular culture, the private sector and academia.
Vehicles used to perpetuate such narratives include: State briefings on terror threats; Speeches by those in service of the state that focus on the threat of the other; Calls for solidarity against external or imperial aggressors; The use of symbols to solidify identities; The labelling of those who fight for a state as patriots and heroes; Calls to arms based on national identity; Representations of conflict in the media and in pop culture; News reportage on conflict, …, …
Narratives perpetuated by these vehicles do more than just resonate around the echo chamber of public opinion; they help normalize emergency situations and imbue states with legitimacy to respond to the threat of, or the perceived threat of, political violence with all manner of policies. These policies are united only by their variety, but include the passing of legislation that curtails the rights of individuals, the interception of electronic communications, the bombing of civilian populations, engagement with private actors such a death squads and PMCs and the projection of the power of states beyond their borders. Some, although by no means all, of the questions raised by narratives of political violence, and the vehicles used to perpetuate them are: How do such narratives affect identities of social actors and how do these identities affect policy? Have such narratives been used to privilege private interests and capital? Are state centric narratives used to foster impunity for violations of national and international law? Do narratives in media and popular culture affect conflict? Do such narratives truly engage with the root causes of political violence? What are the differences in perception between domestic populations and those subject to the foreign adventures of states? What is more important, the vehicles used to perpetuate such narratives or the message that is delivered? Are such narratives truly dominant?
This panel looks to examine the processes and consequences that stem from these narratives. We welcome submissions that both aim to contribute to the development of theory and those which are more empirically based.
Abstract Submission: 21st January (Max 250 words) Notification of Acceptance: 30th January Deadline for Bursary Application: 13th February Deadline for Submission of Full Paper: 23rd March (6,000-8,000 words) BISA PGN 2015 Conference: 30th March (Kings College, London)
Please email submissions or questions to Maria Werdine (M.C.Werdine@lse.ac.uk) or Pete Finn (firstname.lastname@example.org) by the 21st of January 2015. Full information about the conference is available on the BISA PGN website (www.bisapgn.com).