‘Lone Wolf’ Terrorism, Security and Violence Against Women

Wednesday, 18 July 2018: 10:45
Oral Presentation
Jude MCCULLOCH, Monash University, Australia
In the wake of 'lone wolf' terrorist attacks in western countries, including, the US, UK, Australia and France, there is increasing political and scholarly attention devoted to the phenomena of radicalization and home-grown terrorism as a major threat to national security. Political and policy debate has focused on the connection between lone wolf attacks, foreign policy and domestic counter terrorism policies, particularly the potential of these to exacerbate the risks of such attacks. The scholarship on lone wolves, in criminology and related disciplines, typically based on case studies, has focused on definitions, typologies, and models of radicalization. None of the studies consider the phenomena or risk of lone wolf terrorism through the lens of violence against women. A number of media reports and commentaries, on the other hand, reveal or highlight violence against women in the biographies of such attackers and speculate on what this means for contemporary understandings of terrorism generally and lone wolf terrorism in particular. This paper explores the possible connections between lone wolf terrorism and violence against women. It contributes to the extant scholarship on loan wolf terrorism by asking what might be learnt by looking at events so defined through a gendered lens. Using case studies as the empirical base this lens affords a wider appreciation of the context and/or pathways for the violence of lone wolf terrorism. The paper argues that the failure to focus on the connections between violence against women and lone wolf terrorism is part of an ongoing failure to take women’s security seriously; a failure which may also limit efforts to understand and respond effectively to the risks of lone wolf terrorism.