Social Science Discourse and the Biopolitics of Terrorism

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This article weaves social science discourse into the fabric of a genealogy of terrorism. The power struggles associated with the US lead global war on terrorism are producing many new objects of knowledge and possible lines of research (e.g., Islamic terrorists, jihadists, suicide bombers, experts on counterterrorism, and ISIS). This process is modeled as a cycle involving power struggles and power elite orchestrated political victimage rituals and a biopolitics of knowledge. This dynamic is explored in terms of social science discourse and the biopolitics of terrorism. The limits of current thinking in “counterterrorism” and the possibilities of future research are highlighted.