Disconnection and resistance: Anti-terrorism and citizenship in the UK

Lee Jarvis, Michael Lister

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


The corroding impacts of anti-terrorism measures on citizenship have been much discussed in recent years. Drawing on qualitative research from the UK, this article argues that citizens do indeed frequently feel that aspects of citizenship – such as rights, duties, identity claims and the ability to participate in the public sphere – have been significantly dampened by developments in this policy area. At the same time, however, participants in our research also articulated a number of strategies through which they or others have sought to resist the logics, exercise and impacts of anti-terrorism powers. These included voicing explicit opposition to particular measures, resisting ‘outsider’ or ‘victim’ subject positions, and a refusal to withdraw from established forms of political engagement. Whilst such resistance should not be overstated, we argue that these strategies emphasise the co-constitutive rather than linear relationship between public policy and citizenship. Anti-terrorism powers do indeed impact upon citizenship claims, for instance in the curtailment of formal rights. Equally, the everyday, lived, experiences and practices of citizenship contribute to, and help shape, the perceptions and understandings of anti-terrorism policy from within the citizenry
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)756-769
Number of pages14
JournalCitizenship Studies
Issue number6-7
Early online date9 Nov 2013
Publication statusPublished - 2013


  • anti-terrorism
  • citizenship
  • resistance
  • insecurity
  • discrimination
  • security

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