Links

Miller, D. and Sabir, R., 'Counterterrorism as Counterinsurgency in the UK "War on Terror"' in D. Whyte and S. Poynting (Eds.) Counter Terrorism and State Political Violence London: Routledge, 2012

Since 9/11, and especially since the attacks in London in 2005, the British government has introduced a series of counter-terrorism programmes and initiatives through its CONTEST strategy, which aims to reduce the risk of international terrorism to the UK and its interests. CONTEST has been divided into four work streams – Pursue, Prevent, Protect and Prepare. In this paper we focus on three fundamental counterinsurgency measures that have become deeply entrenched within Pursue and Prevent – exceptional legislation, pre-emptive incapacitation measures and intelligence and surveillance structures. We uncover the hitherto little-known development of counterinsurgency doctrine in the UK and examine how it utilises coercion and ‘propaganda’ and the involvement of military officers in formulating key parts of the strategy. We also analyse the role of governmental bodies (and one civil society body) in the practical implementation of the strategy. We conclude that because of the counterinsurgency influences on domestic counter-terrorism, mistrust, intimidation and fear have been deliberately implemented under the CONTEST strategy. In other words, we argue that the policies adopted under CONTEST fit neatly with the official definition of ‘terrorism’.


Miller, D. and Mills, T., 'Counterinsurgency and Terror Expertise: The Integration of Social Scientists into the War Effort', Cambridge Review of International Affairs, Vol 23 No. 2, 203-221, June 2010.

The relationship of scholarship to war has become newly controversial since the invasions of Afghanistan in 2001 and Iraq in 2003. This paper draws upon the tradition of Power Structure Research to analyse the increased interpenetration of the military and the social sciences – particularly the recruitment of anthropologists and the adoption and adaptation of counterinsurgency strategies.

We argue that these actors should not be seen as being disinterested ‘experts’ but as being organically embedded in a military–industrial–academic complex and that this interpenetration violates the ethical norms of the academy and the moral and social responsibilities of intellectuals.


Miller D. and Mills, T., 'The Terror Experts and the Mainstream Media: The Expert Nexus and its Dominance in the News Media', Critical Studies on Terrorism, , Volume 2, issue 3. December 2009 , pages 414 - 437

Since 9/11, academic writing on ‘terrorism’ and the availability of terror ‘experts’ to the mainstream media and policy-makers have increased exponentially.

This paper examines the rise of terror expertise and its use by the mainstream news media. We present a ranking of the most influential terror experts in the mainstream news media in the Anglophone world and reveal an ‘invisible college’ of experts that operates as a nexus of interests - connecting academia with the security industry, military, media, and intelligence and government agencies. We also present case studies of some of the most prominent experts and re-examine theories of ‘terrorism’ and the media, of ‘propaganda’ and ‘terrorism’, and of ‘source–media’ relations.


Miller, D. and Sabir, R., 'Propaganda and Terrorism: Doctrine and Practice' in D. Freedman and D. Thussu (Eds.) Media and Terrorism: Global Perspectives, London: Sage, 2012.

Propaganda is far from simply a question of ideas but a matter of ‘political action’ that ties together practices of persuasion and coercion. We identify four key areas of propaganda which require to be investigated in order to properly understand the phenomena – its institutions, doctrine, practice and its outcomes. We examine these in relation to examples concerning counter-terrorism raids in the UK, terrorism statistics across Europe, and the government organisations dedicated to producing propaganda. Our conclusion is that techniques like public diplomacy and propaganda are far from benevolent forms of political action but part of the ‘weaponisation’ of information. We also argue that it is crucial to see propaganda as more than simply a matter of discourse or mediation. Instead we argue that it is a form of communicative practice.