War on Terror

Essen, 24 January 2017

At the last lecture, the series 'Narratives of the Extreme' concluded with the global war on terror. Susanne Kirchhoff, University of Salzburg, presented the genesis of this narrative in the aftermath of 9/11 as well as its contemporary character and function against the background of changing war-related challenges. The metaphor of the "war on terror" allows a shortening of the actual situation - the war on terrorism became the more comprehensive war on terror. This makes the phenomenon of terrorism more tangible and as narrative to a potentially endless war, the metaphor creates a feeling of permanent threat. The narrative thus serves not only as justification, but is itself part of the war. Frank Gadinger, Head of Research Unit 4 of the Centre, supplemented and discussed Kirchhoffs reflections. In the following discussion with the audience the role of the media was discussed among others.

Susanne Kirchhoff, Communication Scientist, University of Salzburg
Frank Gadinger, Political Scientist, Käte Hamburger Kolleg/Centre for Global Cooperation Research

Volker Heins (Head of Research Unit 2 of the Centre)

About the event series:
The lecture is part of the series 'Narratives of the Extreme' from November 2016 to January 2017 that is co-organized by the Centre and the KWI. The series covers various discursive and practical radicalizations that dominate our current media scene and asks which strategies are implemented by extremists to make such radical – and that means mainly totalitarian and closed – worldviews attractive to gain more adherents and to bring radical thinking right into the middle of society. The current challenge for cultural sciences is the reification of the debate. For this purpose, the events seek to present different perspectives and discourses and their intrinsic logics, functions and modes of action.

Date: 24 January 2017, 19.00-20.30 h
Venue: Institute for Advanced Studiy in the Humanites (KWI), Gartensaal, Goethestraße 31, 45128 Essen