The Other Side of Terrorism: Victimhood and Acknowledgment in the Context of Terrorist Violence

The Other Side of Terrorism: Victimhood and Acknowledgment in the Context of Terrorist Violence

Tuesday, 26 November 2019 - 5:00pm to 6:45pm
Seminar Room, European Studies Centre, 70 Woodstock Road, Oxford OX2 6HR
Professor Petra Terhoeven (Weizsaecker Visiting Fellow, St Antony’s College, Oxford)
Professor Paul Betts (St Antony’s College, Oxford)
ESC Core Seminar Series

The Richard von Weizsaecker Lecture 2019 - The other side of terrorism: Victimhood and acknowledgment in the context of terrorist violence 

The history of terrorism has been largely a history of perpetrators, their motives and actions. The history of their victims has always seemed to be of secondary importance. But terrorism is communication by violence, and its efficiency depends significantly on the selection and the treatment of the victims by the perpetrators on the one hand, the perception and acknowledgement of victimhood by the public on the other. How does it affect our picture of the history of terrorism then, if the victims are moved centre stage? If the focus is put on their suffering, their agency, their helplessness, or on how they are acknowledged or exploited by society, politics and media? If the central role is taken into account which they play in terrorist propaganda as well as in the emotional response of the public? The lecture explores such questions, trying to understand the dynamics of victimhood in different terrorist contexts.

The Chair for this event will be: Professor Paul Betts (St Antony's College, Oxford).

Petra Terhoeven is Professor for European Contemporary and Cultural History at the University of Göttingen, Germany. She has taught at the Universities of Kiel, Lucerne and Lucca and has been a Guest Lecturer at the German Historical Institute in Rome. She has widely published on Italian fascism and left-wing terrorism in its transnational context.

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