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Professor Bill Durodié

security and terrorism

By banning those they reject, our leaders reveal their own crisis
The Mark News, 5 June 2015
The failure to understand what tolerance really is reveals a low view of freedom and other people, and a complete absence of any purposive vision for society.
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Anti-terror: the perversion of tolerance
spiked, 13 May 2015
David Cameron’s crackdown on extremists will destroy freedom, not protect it.
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Prevent: a very risky strategy
spiked, 19 March 2015
The UK’s clueless counterterrorism strategy sees threats everywhere.
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War on Terror or a Search for Meaning?
Strategic Multi-layer Assessment Occasional White Paper,
US Joint Chiefs of Staff / Department of Defense, September 2013
The events of 9/11 necessitated a response. What shape that took was determined by the meaning attributed to those events, in its turn influenced by the mood of the times. Unfortunately, these latter elements reflected the sense of confusion that gripped the West in the aftermath of the Cold War.
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Infrastructure and technology failures: the human dimension
Global is Asian, April - June 2012
The recent breakdowns on Singapore’s modern mass transit system serve to identify some general lessons for all societies handling infrastructure failures - as well as highlighting the significant human dimension to what often appear to the authorities as mere technical issues.
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Message to the West: ‘know thyself’
spiked, 8 September 2011
Since 9/11, terrorists have lived like parasites off the already-existing disorientation of Western elites.
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The West’s very own celeb terrorist
spiked, 5 May 2011
Whether he was droning on about climate change or consumption, OBL’s ‘ideas’ were born and bred in the West.
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Apocalypse Now
European Security and Defence Union, 19 May 2010
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Therapy Culture Revisited
Report of a workshop organised by the Centre of Excellence for National Security (Singapore), 9 March 2010
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Keeping a cool head
The Chemical Engineer, December 2009 / January 2010
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Eight months on - none really the wiser about Mumbai
presentation to INCOSE 2009 International Symposium, Singapore, 20 July 2009
INCOSE 2009 International Symposium, Singapore on 20 July 2009
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Understanding radicalization
New York Times, 13 July 2009
Part of 'From the Midwest to Mogadishu' debate on the NYT's Room for Debate blog.
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Religion, radicalism and terrorism
2 June 2009
Speech to the 23rd Asia-Pacific Roundtable, Sheraton Imperial Kuala Lumpur Hotel, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
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Speech to the 23rd Asia-Pacific Roundtable

Recession and unrest: cauldron may not boil over
Straits Times, 28 May 2009
Discussion of the implications of the recession for social cohesion has been driven by speculative concerns rather than evident trends.
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Recession: impact on security and cohesion
RSIS Commentaries, 25 May 2009
The debate about the implications of the recession amongst officials and security agencies reveals their own lack of confidence.
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Why Mumbai?
RSIS Commentaries, 4 December 2008
The fact that the target was the Indian city that best captures the sub-continent's aspiration for change and development suggests the perpetrators to have been more influenced by Western nihilism and pessimism than by anything else.
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Is internet radicalization possible?
RSIS Commentaries, 22 November 2008
Ideas on the Internet do not independently transform people. The Internet is but a medium for communicating ideas that reflects society.
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Les Attentats de Londres de Juillet 2005: un Nihilisme ‘Made in the UK’
La Découverte, September 2008
Nous devrions reconnaître les dimensions nationales du terrorisme au Royaume-Uni au lieu d’imaginer que ses causes premières émanent toujours de l’étranger ou reflètent une idéologie étrangère. Il semble refléter également un sens plus large d’aliénation et de confusion qui aurait saisi le monde occidental.
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Why ‘deradicalisation’ is not the answer
spiked, 5 June 2008
It's time Jacqui Smith realised that Islamist extremism is not a ‘foreign’ invader of Britain, but rather springs from our own bankrupt culture.
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History: it’s just one bloody thing after another
spiked, 30 May 2008
Having jettisoned political and historical frameworks, Michael Burleigh's story of terrorism combines a lack of insight with excessive prejudice about curry-eating loyalists and headbutting Glaswegians.
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Worst-case scenarios
International Affairs, 84: 3. 2008
review of Worst-case scenarios, by Cass R. Sunstein
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Death of the warrior ethos
spiked, 29 February 2008
Weaving a path from Achilles to Rambo via Shakespeare and Tolstoy, Christopher Coker’s insightful new book captures the increasing demonisation of war – even ‘good wars’ – and the denigration of honour, duty and glory.
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Home-grown nihilism: the clash within civilisations
Defence Academy Journal, February 2008
What is it that propels young men from Birmingham, Burnley, Leeds or Luton – individuals with no tangible connection to Afghanistan, Palestine, Iraq, Bosnia, Chechnya or anywhere else much beyond these shores – to choose to be, or to support, terrorists?
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Between Iraq and a hard place
Times Higher Education Supplement, 31 January 2008
In an otherwise usefully myth-debunking work on risk management in an age of war, there is no admission that debate on the invasion must go beyond cost-benefit analysis.
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Gordon Brown’s state of terror
spiked, 15 November 2007
The UK prime minister's vision for counterterrorism would involve reorganising the whole of society around precaution and fear.
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Fear and terror in a post-political age
Government and Opposition, Vol. 42, No 3, pp 427-450, 2007
The London bombings in 2005 seem more akin to the Columbine high-school massacre and other such incidents; they have less to do with imams and mullahs and far more in common with the dystopian views of numerous commentators who criticise Western society today.
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Homegrown nihilism - the clash within civilisations
The Smith Institute,Terrorism reflects a wide spectrum of causes and beliefs. Individuals who trained in camps in Afghanistan have different motivations from those who act out of a sense of vengeance in the Gaza strip. Some groups may hold global pretensions, but most have amore limited, regional focus. What it is that propels young men from Britain – individuals with no tangible connection to anywhere else much beyond these shores – to choose to be, or to support, terrorists?
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Is London still stressed out about 7/7?
spiked, 3 April 2007
A survey claiming that 11 per cent of Londoners were ‘substantially stressed’ by the bombings raises more questions than answers.
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Resilience in the face of terrorism
University of Warwick Business School, 9 March 2007
A video podcast of a lecture on the roots of modern terrorism and the issue of risk.
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Global terrorism: what should we really fear?
Britain Today, March 2007
The immediate problem posed by terrorists remains extremely small. But there remains the far larger problem of defining who we are, what values we uphold, and where we intend to go in the twenty-first century.
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A battle of ideas in which understanding lies among the casualties
Times Higher Education Supplement, 19 January 2007
As Paul Wilkinson's book, Terror v Democracy illustrates, what analysts do best today is to describe what, when and where events happen. What they are weakest at is explaining why.
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The government is for turning
spiked, 8 January 2007
As U-turn follows U-turn, New Labour is looking more and more like a party devoid of direction.
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In Conversation with Robyn Williams
ABC Radio National, Australia, 28 September 2006
Are London bombers more likely to be hardened, trained members of terrorist squads or misguided young men on eccentric missions?
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An mp3 version of this interview is available here.

We are the enemies within
Times Higher Education Supplement, 22 September 2006
It is not a clash of civilisations but our own cultural self-loathing and pessimistic outlook that motivates young terrorists, many of them born in the West.
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What can the science and technology community contribute?
in Science and Technology Policies for the Anti-Terrorism Era, edited by A. James,The role of science and technology in combating the global war on terror.
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What can the science and technology community contribute?
in Science and Technology Policies for the Anti-Terrorism Era, James, A. ed. IOS Press, Amsterdam, 2006
This article explores the role attributed to science and technology in combating the global war on terror in an age when social bonds have been eroded and our sense of the need for social solutions diminished accordingly. One consequence of this is the exaggeration of risks presented by science and by terrorists to the point of ignoring the more mundane and probable threats that confront us.This article explores the role attributed to science and technology in combating the global war on terror in an age when social bonds have been eroded and our sense of the need for social solutions diminished accordingly. One consequence of this is the exaggeration of risks presented by science and by terrorists to the point of ignoring the more mundane and probable threats that confront us.
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Repeating the anti-terror soap opera
spiked, 7 June 2006
How did the police get a terror raid so wrong (again)?
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The ‘war on terror’ as displacement activity
spiked, 9 March 2006
The author of Imperial Hubris recognises the rot in Western society, but seems to think it can be resolved by taking out some Johnny Foreigners.
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Public Panic and Morale
Journal of Risk Research, Vol. 9, No. 1, 57–73, January 2006
(with Edgar Jones, Robin Woolven and Simon Wessely)
Second World War civilian responses reexamined in the light of the current anti-terrorist campaign.
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Cultural Precursors and Psychological Consequences of Contemporary Western Responses to Acts of Terr
Praeger Press, Westport, 2006, pp.307-326
in The Psychology of Resolving Global Conflicts, Fitzduff, M. and Stout C.E. eds.
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Cultural Precursors, Psychological Consequences of Contemporary Western Responses to Acts of Terror
in Psychological Responses to the New Terrorism: A NATO-Russia Dialogue, Wessely, S. and Krasnov V.N. eds., IOS Press, Amsterdam, 2006, pp.37-53
(with Edgar Jones, Robin Woolven, Simon Wessely)
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Contending cultures of counterterrorism
International Affairs, Vol.82 No.1 , January 2006, pp.195-196
No European power opposed the principle of intervening in Iraq, they simply offered different tactics.
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Terrorism: a threat to humanity
Mission Catalyst,The end of principled political debate makes nihilistic terror a product of our times.
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Imperial Hubris: Why the West is Losing the War on Terror
Journal of Strategic Studies, Vol.28, No.5, October 2005, p.897-900
This book serves as a useful critique of any who may assume Al Qaeda to be a bunch of disorganised hicks, living in caves.
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CTPA, London, October 2005, p.3
in Risk in Perspective: In Defence of Common Sense

Terror in the first person
Times Higher Education Supplement, 5 August 2005
Review of Talking to Terrorists by Robin Soans
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Terrorism and community resilience
Chatham House briefing paper, ISP/NSC Briefing Paper 05/01, July 2005, pp.4-5
The role of social bonds and political purpose in dealing with adversity.
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Terrorism and Community Resilience - A UK Perspective
Chatham House Briefing Paper, ISP/NSC Briefing Paper 05/01, July 2005, pp.4-5
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28 June 2005
conference paper, University of Wolverhampton


May 2005
Final Project Report, Economic and Social Research Council

Al-Qaeda: a conspiracy of dunces?
spiked, 14 April 2005
The real story of the 'ricin plot' is that Britain's would-be terrorists are a bunch of losers.
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The limitations of risk management in dealing with disaster and building social resilience
Politik, Vol.8, No.1, March 2005, pp.14-21
This article explores the significance of social resilience in the light of the events of the 11th of September 2001. More broadly, it examines the way in which evolving cultural contexts alter our perceptions of risk and disaster. It argues that the contemporary dominance of technically focused risk management led responses is limiting and may serve to undermine the ordinary human bonds that actually make us truly resilient. A political debate over societal values is required if we are to reengage the public in order to achieve this and hence deal appropriately with disasters and terrorism.
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Facing the possibility of bioterrorism
Current Opinion in Biotechnology, 2004, 15:264-268
Bioterrorism provides a powerful metaphor for élite fears of social corrosion from within. Accordingly, a broader historical and cultural perspective is required to understand why individuals and societies feel so vulnerable to what remain largely speculative scenarios.
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Civilian morale during the Second World War: responses to air-raids re-examined
Social History of Medicine, Vol.17, No.3, December 2004, pp.463-479
with Edgar Jones, Robin Woolven and Simon Wessely
Civilians proved more resilient than planners had predicted, largely because they had underestimated their adaptability and resourcefulness.
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Animal rights terrorism and the demise of political debate
World Defence Systems, Vol.7, No.2, Autumn 2004, pp.202-203
Those confronting animal-rights activists lack the resolve to win the debate.
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Cultural influences on resilience and security
Homeland and Security Monitor, Vol.3, No.7, September 2004, pp.4-6
In addressing the issue of terrorism, it is as important to understand what our responses teach us about ourselves — both as individuals and as a society — as it is to deal with the terrorists or tackle what we perceive to be the root causes of terrorism.
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Home Affairs Committee inquiry into terrorism and community relations
September 2004
This submission seeks to inform policy-makers and emergency-planners of the significant lessons to be learnt from the growing body of literature examining human behaviour in a disaster. These point to the paramount need for professionals to incorporate community responses to particular crises within their actions, rather than seeking to supplant them as ill-informed or less productive.
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Don’t send in the tanks
Times Higher Education Supplement, 30 July 2004
Using the Army to deter animal activists will not win over public opinion.
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They warn too much
spiked, 30 July 2004
Why the UK government's booklet on ‘preparing for emergencies' backfired.
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Panic in the streets
New Humanist, May 2004
What makes us all so anxious?
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Facing the possibility of bioterrorism
Current Opinions in Biotechnology, 2004, 15:264-268
Bioterrorism provides a powerful metaphor for élite fears of social corrosion from within. Accordingly, a broader historical and cultural perspective is required to understand why individuals and societies feel so vulnerable to what remain largely speculative scenarios.
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Political tunnel vision is today’s real terror
Times Higher Education Supplement, 26 March 2004
In retreating from the world and politics, we all become more vulnerable - as the people and politicians of Spain have learnt.
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Political tunnel vision is today’s real terror
THES, 24 March 2004
In retreating from the world and politics, we all become more vulnerable - as the people and politicians of Spain have learnt.
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Sociological Aspects Of Risk And Resilience In Response To Acts Of Terrorism
World Defence Systems, Vol.7, No.1, Spring 2004, pp.214-216
Our response to terrorist incidents as a society teaches us far more about ourselves than it does about the terrorists.
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Britain’s bunker mentality
spiked, 22 January 2004
What kind of message does the UK's fortification of its overseas missions send to the world - and to terrorists?
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Review: The Globalization of Terrorism
The Global Review of Ethnopolitics, Vol.3, No.2, January 2004, pp.108-109
The year 2001 was a huge one for terrorism. This little book missed it. Published six months before the momentous events of September one might feel inclined to forgive the author, series editor and publishers for failing to anticipate the broadly unimaginable. But the book’s bigger failing is to have missed the 1990s.
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Communicating the War on Terror: conference summary
January 2004
(with Brendan O'Neill)
What should governments tell the public about terror threats? How should governments and other official bodies strike a balance between warning us and worrying us? And what is the role of the media in the war on terror -- how should we define the responsibilities of increasingly influential reporters in a time of conflict?
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Social bonds can withstand most bombs
Times Higher Education Supplement, 19 December 2003
Terrorism aimed at a divided society will never be countered by technical efforts alone - real resilience can come only from common purpose.
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An arresting sight
spiked, 4 December 2003
Why does it take 26 armed police units to detain one terrorist suspect?
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From the rules of engagement to passionless marriages
Times Higher Education Supplement, 28 November 2003
Review of Conflict: From Analysis to Intervention, edited by Sandra Cheldelin, Daniel Druckman and Larissa Fast
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The fear and self-loathing in Las Vegas
Times Higher Education Supplement, 17 October 2003
Now even the Americans are anti-American.
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Is real resilience attainable?
Homeland Security & Resilience Monitor, Vol.2, No.6, September 2003, pp.15-19
The concept of resilience — the ability to withstand or recover from adverse conditions — has come of age in the wake of the terrorist attacks on 11 September 2001. Politicians, emergency planners and others talk of the need to “build”, “engender”, “improve” or “enhance” resilience in society. What is being proposed and to what extent is real resilience attainable in today's conditions?
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Houses of Precaution
spiked, 23 May 2003
Will the concrete blocks installed to protect Parliament from terror make the UK feel secure, or scared?
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Communicating the War on Terror
spiked, 22 May 2003
An open public debate is key to striking the right note in the war on terror.
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Private commission for Oxford Analytica, May 2003


Terrorism Research, April 2003

A diabolical deal that still endangers democracy
Times Higher Education Supplement, 28 March 2003
Review of The Final Frontier: America, Science, and Terror, by Dominick Jenkins
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Men without a mission make poor soldiers
Times Higher Education Supplement, 21 February 2003
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Resilience or panic? The public and terrorist attack
The Lancet, Vol.360, No.9349, 6 December 2002, pp.1901-1902
How can governments prepare the public before an attack without reducing resilience; and second, what should be done to prevent panic in the aftermath?
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Perception and threat
Homeland Security & Resilience Monitor, Vol.1, No.4, November 2002, pp.16-18
One of the biggest dangers of 11 September is overreaction. We need to develop responses based upon our values rather than focusing upon our vulnerabilities.
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