Second Order Terrorism

Willem de Lint

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


    Purpose-Post-9/11 a first order terrorism narrative has been widely asserted. In this chapter, I explore the development of second order terrorism narrative or ideal-type. Methodology/approach-The chapter begins by providing a brief synopsis of three highly mediated Australian counter-terrorism operations and of shortcomings in incident counting. It also relies on some U.S. research on counter-terrorism prosecutions in support. Findings-In first order terrorism, crime appears as a spectacular irruption or original sin on a tabula rasa of innocence and there is a clean division between us and them, non-state and state, victim and offender. In the second order terrorism narrative there is a contrasting claim that 9/11 is blowback, in kind, for U.S.-led interventions and does not offer a clean division between how we and they behave, blurs non-state and state culpability in big crimes, and sees victims and offenders trading places over time. As we adjust our perspective from the presumptive first order to second order event-acts, terrorism and counter-terrorism, event-act and interdiction, is merged as one. Originality/value-The concept may be useful in accounting for assumptions pertaining to this category of crime, including its relation with precaution and security.

    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationTerrorism and Counter-terrorism Today
    PublisherEmerald Publishing Limited
    Number of pages20
    ISBN (Print)9781785601910
    Publication statusPublished - 2015

    Publication series

    NameSociology of Crime Law and Deviance
    ISSN (Print)1521-6136


    Dive into the research topics of 'Second Order Terrorism'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this