The end of emancipation? CTS and normativity
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionCritical Studies on Terrorism. 2019, 13 (1), 80-99. 10.1080/17539153.2019.1658408
Although CTS can be described as a broad church, scholars working within this approach want to produce knowledge which can help shape, improve, change, or replace contemporary counterterrorism. Guided by Marx’s mantra that the point of theory is not only to interpret the world but to change it, CTS has since its inception challenged the status quo of contemporary counterterrorism on the basis that it is possible to conduct counterterrorism differently, more humanly, and, put plainly, better. The concept of emancipation was identified early on as the foundation and basis for knowledge. However, a deeper debate on emancipation has largely been absent since 2010. Could it be that CTS exhausted the debate on one of its core commitments only five years into its existence? Have we reached the end of emancipation? Or could it be that emancipation is not that attractive at all for CTS and its normative projects? This article begins with a review and a state-of-the-art discussion of emancipation within CTS. While it might be the end of emancipation in its traditional conceptualisation, the article argues that emancipation can be retained as the basis for normative theorising and action within CTS when reconceptualised as a Weberian value-axiom. The article concludes by exploring a transfiguration of the concept of emancipation itself.