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The discourse and study of terrorism in decolonised states: the case of Pakistan


Critical Studies on TerrorismJournal abstract

The existing literature in the terrorism field does not address the absence of terrorism scholarship in developing countries. This article focuses on this intellectual gap using the case of Pakistan. It argues that most decolonised states, including Pakistan, are yet to grasp the complexities of traditional approaches to the study of terrorism, let alone its critical dimensions. The article explores some of the prevailing conditions in developing countries, specifically decolonised states such as Pakistan, which prevent the development of a robust academic discourse on terrorism and the development of a strong field of study. It suggests that the main barriers that account for this shortfall include the state’s legitimacy deficit, a flawed education system that nurtures fictions as truth and inhibits knowledge production, the institutionalised role of conspiracy theories in national politics and the multiplicity of terrorism discourses among government and sociopolitical entities. The conclusion highlights a number of reasons that might help to explain this persistent condition and offers a few policy recommendations.

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