Disconnected Citizenship? The Impacts of Anti-terrorism Policy on Citizenship in the UK

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Abstract

This article draws on primary focus group data from the UK to offer three contributions to recent debate on the impact of anti-terrorism measures on citizenship. First, it presents a qualitatively rich account of citizens' own perspectives on this relationship. Second, it explores the significance of ethnic identity in relation to public attitudes. Finally, it traces the implications of anti-terrorism initiatives upon multiple dimensions of citizenship including participation, identity and duties as much as rights. The article argues that citizens from a range of ethnic minority backgrounds, and thus not only Muslims, believe that anti-terrorism measures have directly curtailed and diminished their citizenship. This is in contrast to white participants who, while not untroubled about the impact of these measures, generally viewed this as a concern distanced from their everyday lives. This difference suggests that anti-terrorism measures may be contributing to a condition of disconnected citizenship in the UK.

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