12 May 2017 Scarman House, University of Warwick

A unique opportunity for a conversation between terrorism researchers and epistemologists about the epistemological challenges and fallacies of counterterrorism. The workshop will have a broad focus and will include discussion of the nature of knowledge, calculation, ignorance, illusion, epistemic vices and counterfactual thinking in counterterrorism.

This cross-disciplinary one day workshop, which supported by a grant from the Arts and Humanities Research Council, will be one of the first events of its kind in the UK.

The speakers will include:



Panel 1


Registration & Tea and Coffee: 9.30-9.55am

Introduction and Welcome by Professor Cassam: 9.55am

Panel #1 – 10:00-11:30am

Epistemological Ritual and Crisis in Counterterrorism Policy

  • Professor Richard Jackson (NCPACS, University of Otago): “The epistemological crisis of Counterterrorism”
  • Dr Lee Jarvis (UEA): “Preaching to the Converted: Parliament and the Ritual of Proscription”
  • Dr Andrew Neal (Edinburgh): “We know better than you. There are things we can’t tell you”: Knowledge and Exclusion in Parliamentary Security Politics”
  • Dr Sara Silvestri (City): “Narratives of extremism, terrorism and national security in four decades of British history”

Refreshments break: 11:30-12:00

Panel #2 – 12:00-13:30pm

Researching Violent Protagonists: Secrets and Epistemologies

  • Professor Ruth Blakeley (Kent): “Researching State Secrets: Epistemology, Methods, Data Generation, Analysis and Ethics”
  • Professor Hamed El-Said (MMU): ‘Pathways to Terrorism’
  • Professor Andrew Williams (Warwick): “Who should we believe? Researching the conflicting narratives in war crimes trials from Nuremberg to Iraq”

Lunch Break: 13:30-15:00

Panel #3 – 15:00-16:30

Epistemological Thresholds in Counterterrorism: From Analogue to Digital, and from Individual to Structural

  • Dr Charlotte Heath-Kelly (Warwick): “The UK Prevent Duty: The Move Towards Big Data Epistemology in Counter-Radicalisation”
  • Professor Jon Coaffee (Warwick) “Smart Resilience and the Changing Face of Counteterrorism”
  • Professor Quassim Cassam (Warwick) “Level-Confusions in Counterterrorism: an Epistemological Perspective”.

17:30 – Speaker’s Dinner


Panel 2

Book your place

This event is by invitation only and space is limited. If you would like to come please email Quassim Cassam (q.cassam@warwick.ac.uk). There is no registration fee.