Methods in Critical Terrorism Studies


Analyses of national executives and national security bureaucracies are dominant in both traditional and critical approaches to terrorism studies (Neal 2012). However, there is little research in terrorism studies about other political actors who contribute to this conversation. Other actors, such as political parties, civil society groups and think tanks, provide multiple and varying understandings of what terrorism is and how it should be tackled. These understandings very often sit uncomfortably alongside one another. For instance, the “terrorist” imagined by right-wing populism does not always match with liberal and social-democratic imaginings (Dixit 2019). A pluralist approach to understandings of terrorism is crucial in an age of increasing politicisation of cultural and religious issues that constrain the elaboration of security and counterterrorism strategies (Chryssogelos 2020).

The panel aims to contribute to the ongoing dialogue between security and terrorism studies, on one side, and political science, on the other. In doing so, the panel also offers a methodological discussion about alternative ways to trace the political making of discourses on terrorism. Literature from both fields equips us with important findings gathered through discourse analysis (both quantitative and qualitative), genealogical approaches, and interviews. Speaking across methodological divides, the panel tries to stress how each one is significant to further our understanding of terrorism.  


  • Prof Sandra Destradi (University of Freiburg) 
  • Dr Silvia D'Amato (University of Leiden) 
  • Dr Emeka Njoku (University of Birmingham) 
  • Dr Michael Lister (University of Oxford Brookes). 


  • Dr Andrew Neal (University of Edinburgh).  


  • Ugo Gaudino (University of Kent).  

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