Troubling political discourses of terrorism : responding to the call of the other : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts in Psychology at Massey University, Palmerston North, Aotearoa/New Zealand

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Massey University
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As a story of a complex interplay of hegemonic power relations that play out as relationships of violence on contested boundaries, the dominant narrative of terrorism may be understood as a discursive site of tension between sameness and difference in the production of a 'unified' political identity. Contingent on a binary relationship between 'self' and 'other', terrorism functions as a particular form of Orientalism (Said, 1978) that produces Western knowledges as the authority over meaning and excludes possibilities for ethical responses (Spivak, 2004). This thesis draws on Laclau and Mouffe's (1985) theory of the political production of discourse and subjectivity to question the conditions of possibility that enable the production of terrorism in discourse. Through an understanding of discourse as socially contingent systems of meaning, the analysis explored how social relationships were constructed in political text, and how, through these hegemonic constructions, it became possible to exclude some from the authority to articulate their experiences and understanding of social relations. Revealing the contingency of relation among multiple discourse, terrorism became necessary to the discursive field that constitutes nationalism through an ongoing antagonism between governance and sovereignty that enabled a rejection of the call of the 'other'. To enable an ethical response and open possibilities for authentic encounters with the 'other', this thesis argues into a space where new meanings and possibilities for social relations are enabled through the generation of 'new' discourses that attend to the spaces between our relational boundaries.
Maori (New Zealand people), Government relations, Tōrangapū, Tuhinga whakapae, Terrorism, New Zealand politics and government