Terrorism and international relations. The terrorist relation at the heart of international relations after 9/11

Abstract

An enlightened understanding of contemporary international relations requires adopting a just distance with the terrorist phenomenon. Rather than denouncing hyperterrorism or mega-terrorism, one should examine the terrorist relationship, shaped by 9/11 in its entirety. It is, first and foremost, reliant on eight components : the two contenders, the media, public opinion, the international context, which dominates the relationship’s play, the means used and the effects obtained. Then, the terrorist relation includes several variations : « New York », « Baghdad », or « London ». 9/11 terrorism’s singularity especially lies in its joint production by Al-Qaeda and the participants to the war on terrorism, gathering behind the United States. Finally, the terrorist relationship thus defined is at the heart of international relations, under the shape of war. It also perturbs the economic sphere, as well as the norms and culture sphere. Yet, apocalypse is not the only outcome of the 9/11-type terrorist relation.

AFRI 2007 Summary