The Terror of Everyday Counterterrorism

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

56 Downloads (Pure)


This piece explores what I identify as the ‘epistemology of the bedroom’ where ‘the bedroom’ is place where (gendered) fear is normalized, naturalized, and beyond the attention of those with a political interest in security and securitization, and the epistemology thereof is an epistemology always covered by and covering a level of acceptability of fear – fear of personal violation, fear of violence, fear of exposure, and fear of lack of choice. The article starts out by exploring the constitutive elements of fear that even advocates against ‘domestic’ violence often do not analyze, and suggests that it is related to the phenomena that have come to be identified as international terrorism in several important ways. It continues to explore three of them. First, it suggests that discourses of ‘international terrorism,’ while they explicitly exclude everyday or domestic violence, rely on the epistemology of the bedroom to inspire fear of those labeled as terrorists and their actions or potential actions. Second, it argues that understanding the concept of international terrorism as reliant on an epistemology of the bedroom shows the concept as both gendered and fundamentally flawed. Finally, it suggests that those identified as international terrorists often rely on the ‘epistemology of the bedroom’ to accomplish goals. The article concludes by suggesting that gendered fears – whether ‘at home’ or in global politics – have similar structures, and should therefore be considered similarly.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)383-400
Number of pages18
JournalCritical Studies on Terrorism
Issue number3
Early online date29 Oct 2015
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • feminist IR
  • critical terrorism studies
  • international relations
  • gender
  • terrorism
  • counterterrorism
  • sexuality

Cite this