A climate terrorism assemblage? Exploring the politics of climate change-terrorism-radicalisation relations

Telford, A. ORCID: 0000-0002-8430-4866, 2020. A climate terrorism assemblage? Exploring the politics of climate change-terrorism-radicalisation relations. Political Geography, 79: 102150. ISSN 0962-6298

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Despite a series of claims from Bernie Sanders (2015), Barack Obama (2015), and others arguing that climate change, radicalisation, and terrorism are connected by complex causal relationships, there is very little academic examination of the politics of these claims. Building on DeLanda's (2006) account of assemblages and social complexity, this paper conceptualises climate change-terrorism-radicalisation relationships as a 'climate terrorism assemblage'. A 'climate terrorism assemblage' is a complex, emergent 'whole' formed from a heterogeneous range of interacting geopolitical components (e.g. climatic factors, migration, think tanks and academic publications, and a discourse of 'climate security'). Specifically, a climate terrorism assemblage is characterised by 'strategic territorialisations': context-specific, multi-scalar points at which political claims of causal links between climate change, terrorism, and radicalisation are crystallised. Strategic territorialisations are produced in two, interrelated contexts. First, using the case study of the Syrian Conflict, a climate terrorism assemblage reveals an intricate, contested politics of ‘drawing lines’ which link climate change, terrorism, and radicalisation. Secondly, the paper argues that, at the points at which causal links are constructed between climate change, terrorism and radicalisation, a climate terrorism assemblage territorialises around intersectional subject formations, in particular a young masculine subject vulnerable to potential radicalisation and terrorism. Overall, the paper concludes that a climate terrorism assemblage provides a productive analytic frame to investigate the contested power relations of climate change-radicalisation-terrorism connections.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: Political Geography
Creators: Telford, A.
Publisher: Elsevier
Date: May 2020
Volume: 79
ISSN: 0962-6298
S0962629819300095Publisher Item Identifier
Rights: © 2020 The Author. Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
Divisions: Schools > School of Animal, Rural and Environmental Sciences
Record created by: Linda Sullivan
Date Added: 03 Apr 2020 11:20
Last Modified: 03 Apr 2020 11:20
URI: https://irep.ntu.ac.uk/id/eprint/39547

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