David Sadler

Postgraduate Research Student

Thesis Title

Beyond 9/11: Developing the concept of cumulative extremism via politics, policies and publicity in the war against Islamic terrorism



This thesis develops the concept of "cumulative extremism" to inform debates on apportioning responsibility for post-9/11 Islamic terrorism. The original concept is developed via interdisciplinary analyses of post-9/11 US counterterrorism policies and the discourse framing social and media responses to those policies, which this thesis argues become performative themselves in influencing the numbers and extent of perceived terror threats. An examination of US political rhetoric, counterterrorism policy-making, and sensationalist media coverage of terrorist incidents indicates how state and social behaviour is often at odds with international law, human rights, and moral norms.