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The militarization of law enforcement agencies – new article!

Political Science doctoral candidate Khaled Al-Kassimi, discusses the terrorizing pedagogy found in the militarization of law enforcement agencies in the U.S. in the latest issue of Cogent Social Science Journal

May 23, 2019

Khaled's article in Volume 5, Issue 1 of the Cogent Social Science Journal is entitled "Critical terrorism studies (CTS): (State) (sponsored) terrorism identified in the (militarized) pedagogy of (U.S.) law enforcement agencies" discussed the militarization of law enforcement agencies that has been occuring in the U.S from the 20th century to more recentler after 9/11. Since President Bush declared pre-emptive defense as the preferred strategy to fight terrorism – following the declaration of the War on Terror and the passing of the Patriot Act – scholars have noticed an exponential increase in the (terrorizing) pedagogy of law enforcement agencies becoming militarized to the extent that citizens are no longer being protected by their sovereign but rather are presumed threats to national security. This paper seeks to highlight how such militarization adopts terrorizing tactics sponsored by the state - Paramilitary Policing Units, Military Gear, development of Fusion Centers - thus bringing into fruition an imposed “Law and Order” that presumes citizens as threats to national security. By prioritizing the security of the state rather than the freedom and liberty of the citizen, this manuscript elaborates on the danger this legal development poses on the democratic promise based on contractualist theory.

For over a decade, scholars of Critical Terrorism Studies (CTS) – a subset of terrorism studies identifying with the widening and deepening era of International Relations (IR) – have persuaded scholars of political sociology to push the disciplinary boundaries imposed by Orthodox Terrorism Studies (OTS). OTS academics reify a positivist conceptualization of terrorism that is exclusively theorized using an institutionalized problem-solving approach that wholly perceives perpetrators of terrorism as being non-state actors and (almost) never Northern democratic sovereign state actors. Adopting a critical and reflexive lens to the study of terrorism allows us to highlight the danger of ignoring the increased sanctioning of state sponsored terrorism identified in the militarization of law enforcement agencies after the events of 9/11. The paper concludes by proposing that we identify university institutions as educational spaces that provide an opportune site to develop an oppositional critical pedagogy (OCP) ushering a demilitarized culture and social emancipation. The development of an OCP to militarization works in tandem with CTS contesting and immanently critiquing societal militarization by opposing educational spaces becoming sites that (re)produce and sanctify terroristic /warfare state actions which impede on the rights of citizens enshrined in the democratic experience of modern northern liberal states.