Terrorism-affected biographies within us. "Terrorist learning" as pilgrimage towards death.

PhD Thesis

Alexa, Stefan 2019. Terrorism-affected biographies within us. "Terrorist learning" as pilgrimage towards death. PhD Thesis Canterbury Christ Church University School of Education
AuthorsAlexa, Stefan
TypePhD Thesis
Qualification nameDegree of Doctor of Education

This research is important as it relates to an emergent research field of ‘terrorist learning’, which is defined as “the acquisition of knowledge to inform terrorist-related activities in the future” ​(Kettle and Mumford, 2016, p. 8)​. There is a need to go beyond a legal/ criminalistic, sociological, or political take on this topic and, in effect, attempt to provide a critical perspective on this composite concept from an educational perspective. In addition to this, I have a personal and professional concern ​(Goodley ​et al.​ , 2004)​, which is rooted in my biography. 'Terrorist learning' has a 'narrative life' and affects our biographies, even across generations.

I will approach this research field in an auto/ biographical manner, as this would
'place people in context'. The point is not to generalise any longer, but to realise the importance of the interplay between micro, meso and macro processes ​(Merrill and West, 2009, p. 40)​. I conducted a series of interviews with an ex-Al Qaeda as well as an active Hizb-ut Tahrir member.

This research brings contributions to the existing theoretical approaches and knowledge on 'terrorist learning'; in addition, contributions are being made towards developing an appropriate methodological and ethical approach to difficult, but important topics such as 'terrorist learning'. Finally, my thesis also contributes to the development of a relevant and 'narratively imaginative' writing style that does allow -through a process of 'cracking up'- for important educational aspects to emerge, not least for the readers, from within such an emotionally-charged and challenging topic.

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Publication process dates
Deposited17 Mar 2020
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