How to do Things with Security Post 9/11 1
AbstractDiscourses and the ideas, perceptions and templates upon which they are based exert a powerful influence on law-making, push policy-making in a precise direction and determine operational action and outcomes. British counterterrorist law and policy post 9/11 is heavily mediated through a conceptual filter that evokes a siege mode of democracy, which deliberately displaces the traditional rights-based model, and a security narrative based on a double asymmetry. By blending a discursive theoretical approach with an institutionalist perspective, the discussion examines the siege mode of democracy and its implications and the double asymmetry underpinning the Government's framing of the threat and of the means to counter it. Both features of the Government's security discourse are critical in explaining not only British counter-terrorist legislation and policy evolution in the 21st century and the controversial operation ‘Kratos’ adopted by ACPO in 2002, but also their official depiction as necessary, and singular, responses to some structured necessity and the associated logic of ‘no alternative’.