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The Gatecrashers: a long view of lone actor assassins and terrorists, featuring Dr Tim Wilson.

Tuesday 2nd April 2024, 4.00PM – 5.30pm, Arts Lecture Theatre, Arts Building

Over little more than a decade, the so-called ‘Lone Wolf’ attacker has emerged as a central security threat.

Such lone actors are usually seen as a recent phenomenon. By contrast, this lecture takes a 500-year view to ask: when and under what conditions does this type of attack become more likely?

The linguistic ceasefire or how to re-engage listed armed groups

Paul Wilkinson Memorial Lecture featuring Sophie Hapeslaugh

Wednesday 27th March, 5.00pm – 6.30pm, School III, St Salvator’s Quad.

Sophie will offer a systematic examination of the impact of proscription, or the listing of armed groups as terrorists, on peace negotiations. By introducing the concept of ‘linguistic ceasefire’, she adds to our understanding of the timing and sequencing of peace processes in the context of proscription. Linguistic ceasefire has three main components: first, recognise the conflict; second, discard the ‘terrorist’ label; and third, uncouple the act and the actor. 

These measures remove the symbolic impact of proscription, even where de-listing is not possible ahead of negotiations. With relevance for more than half of the conflicts around the world in which an armed group is listed as a terrorist organisation, ‘linguistic ceasefire’ helps to explain why certain conflicts remain stuck in the ‘terrorist’ framing, while others emerge from it.