9/11 revived geopolitics. Whilst many scholars of International Relations have tinkered with the normative landscape of liberal international order or endlessly deliberated on anarchy as an imagined or constructed entity, the ‘real’ political ontology is geopolitics.The new geopolitical discourse that has emerged from the post-9/11 landscape has thrown into question the capacity of international orders to function in terms of homogeneity. Difference is our international political condition and the security politics initiated in the aftermath of September 11 are essentially built around these differences.
Dr Patricia Hogwood, Reader in European Politics, Department of Politics and International relations
9/11 sparked a fear of immigrants as a security threat
In Europe, fear of foreigners is nothing new.Back in the 1980s, Europe’s media portrayed immigrants as an economic threat, taking jobs from locals and overloading welfare state provision of social housing, health and education services.Public sympathy for the plight of asylum seekers evaporated under a growing suspicion that ‘false’ asylum seekers were coming here not because they faced any real danger in their home countries,
The French scholar, Raymond Aron, observed that ‘an act of violence is labelled “terrorist” when its psychological effects are out of proportion to its purely physical results’. This understanding of the internal meaning of terrorism reveals both the strategic significance of the terrorist acts of 9/11 and their ultimate strategic irrelevance.
At a pinch, we can say that they did it, but we wished for it. If this is not taken into account, the event loses any symbolic dimension. It becomes a pure accident, a purely arbitrary act, the murderous phantasmagoria of a few fanatics, and all that would then remain would be to eliminate them…