Media Representations of the War Against Terrorism in the British Series Spooks Cover Image

Медијске репрезентације ратап ротив тероризма у британској серији Spooks
Media Representations of the War Against Terrorism in the British Series Spooks

Author(s): Dubravka Đurić, Aleksandra Izgarjan
Subject(s): Politics, Anthropology, Media studies, Military history, Globalization
Published by: Институт за политичке студије
Keywords: war on terror; media; discourses; Other; hybridization; homogenization; globalization; the West; nonwestern world;

Summary/Abstract: The objective of our article was to examine the ways the British series Spooks participates in the contemporary debates on terrorism through presentation of its various aspects as well as problematization of the methods used in the war on terror. Our analysis particularly focuses on the war on terror as a global phenomenon and the most urgent issue at present. The scholars dealing with the phenomenon of terrorism often remark upon its indefinability since it gains new and unexpected forms due to the rapid changes in the political and economic spheres. The narrative lines in Spooks rests upon the assumption that the conflicts in the contemporary societies happen because non-Western states jeopardize vital interests and values of the Western alliance and that these interests have to be protected at all cost. The primary aim of the modern day terrorist attacks on the Western societies is not only a high number of casualties as well as material waste, but more importantly, instigation of the sense of panic, insecurity and helplessness in the public. The series Spooks presents a wide spectrum of the contemporary forms of terrorism configuring the terrorists as non- western Others who are the constant threat which has to be eliminated through the process of macro- securitization. However, although the narrative of the series revolves around the paradigm of “the conflict of civilizations” which stereotypically represents the terrorists as Muslim fundamentalists, the deeper analysis of the complex narratives in the series reveals that it points to other possibilities by utilizing marginal story-lines. It shows that neither side in this binary opposition of “the West against the Rest” is coherent since the series features a number of protagonists whose actions and opinions do not fit into the typical representations of the agents of the western secret services and the members of the terrorist organizations. On the contrary, our article shows that Spooks uses the characters of terrorists with very complex motivations and allegiances both to their ethnic and religious communities and Western societies. On the other hand, the agents of the Western alliance often mistrust the illegal and unethical methods used in the war on terror as well as the process of macro- securitization which includes heightened control in all spheres of the society. Precisely this problematization of the conflict of civilizations which is the foundation of the war on terror is one of the most important aspects of the series since it undermines homogeny of the Western alliance. The series invites the viewers to become actively involved in the ideological debate on terrorism. Juxtaposition of various discourses through the inclusion of many, often completely opposite, voices is one of the features of the series which make it a product of complex television which always has to include the concepts of narrative complexity.

  • Issue Year: 2016
  • Issue No: 3/Spec
  • Page Range: 209-224
  • Page Count: 16
  • Language: Serbian