National submissions to the UN Counter-Terrorism Committee as constructions of national identity: Cameroon, Kenya and Nigeria

Lee Jarvis, Tim Legrand

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This article examines the construction of national identity in the context of the post-9/11 counter-terrorism sanctions regime established by United Nations Security Council Resolution 1373. The study focuses on the written reports of three member states – Cameroon, Kenya, and Nigeria – arguing that these documents not only serve as inventories of national capacity but also as performances of national identity within a specific historical moment. Two overarching arguments are made. First, constructions of terrorism play a crucial discursive role in demarcating self from other in these reports, consistently portraying terrorism as an external and morally reprehensible threat to national security. Second, despite this relatively consistent framing of terrorist otherness, the reports contain creative and diverse reflections on, or articulations of, national identity and its associated characteristics. In making these arguments, the article contributes to existing literature on the post-9/11 UN counter-terrorism regime by offering an original reading of national submissions to the UN Counter-Terrorism Committee, focusing on relatively neglected states from the global South, and develops new conceptual insight into the plasticity of terrorism as a form of discursive otherness capable of sustaining diverse representations of national self-identity
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)151-175
Number of pages25
JournalAfrican Security
Issue number2-3
Early online date17 Aug 2023
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2023

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