Securitising education to prevent terrorism or losing direction?

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This article examines the growing relationship between security and education, particularly in the light of the UK government’s Prevent Duty that seeks to tackle radicalisation in a variety of milieus, including universities. However, rather than seeing this process as being merely one-way, through a so-called securitisation of education (in the parlance of the Copenhagen School of International Relations), what is explored here is the dialectic between these two spheres. It is suggested that a heightened sensitivity to the supposed consequences of inflammatory rhetoric on the well-being of supposedly suggestible or vulnerable students has been in existence within education for quite some time. In that regards, the securitising efforts of politicians and officials are pushing against an open door. What’s more, it is proposed that the inability of the authorities to hold the line in support of absolute freedom of expression, within academia and beyond, tacitly encourages the very people the government would hope to detract.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)21-35
JournalBritish Journal of Educational Studies
Issue number1
Early online date13 Nov 2015
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2016


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