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The making of a terrorist: A discourse analysis of the expert construction of violent Islamic extremism in Sweden
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Theology, Department of Theology.
2017 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

This study focuses on the ontological and epistemological assumptions within the construction of expert knowledge regarding violent Islamic extremism in Sweden. Setting out from the academic field of critical terrorism studies, previous research highlights how following the 2001 attacks against the United States (9/11) Islam and terrorism have been presented as codependent. In this thesis I argue that in a Swedish context two overarching themes have been constructed by Swedish experts regarding violent Islamic extremists in Sweden, that of the passive victim, who is susceptible to the particular nature of their environment which is tainted by ‘alienation’, ‘segregation’, along with extremist influences; and the active threat, who is ‘anti - democratic‘, ‘manipulative’, and ‘violent’. In order to analyze the discursive constructs of the experts I have strategically selected reports from four Swedish centers of expertise and thereafter analyzed the reports through a theoretical and methodological framework based upon Michel Foucault’s (1972) discourse analysis. I argue that by applying Foucault’s discourse analysis to the reports it is possible to see how the experts do construct a connection between Islam and Muslims to violent extremism and terrorism by ascribing a particular notion of vulnerability amongst the perceived group in regards to their susceptibility to radicalization and violent extremism. In turn, exceptionally associating violent extremism and terrorism with Islam and Muslims. More so, I argue that the experts derive their legitimacy from the Swedish government and from internal and external confirmation and are as such part of a limited epistemological community. Therefore, the Swedish government acts not only as delimiters of the emergence of experts within the field, but also in the discursive rule formation of what is deemed as related to the field of terrorism studies and what is not. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017. , p. 66
Keywords [en]
Terrorism, Violent Extremism, Discourse, Expert, Sweden
National Category
Social Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-329956OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-329956DiVA, id: diva2:1143900
Available from: 2017-10-09 Created: 2017-09-22 Last updated: 2017-10-09Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

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Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
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