Dr Amal Abu-Bakare is an incoming lecturer in the politics of race and decolonial studies at the University of Liverpool and a Visiting Fellow at the University of South Wales’ International Centre for Policing & Security. She is a former doctoral student at Aberystwyth University’s Department of International Politics who successfully defended her thesis on 6 November 2020. As a Saudi-born Nigerian dual citizen of Canada and the United Kingdom, Abu-Bakare is interested in all things international, particularly food and politics. Her current research profile remains centred on using anti-colonial IR theory to explore how North American and European political/security institutions continue to empower racially configured exclusions and terror.
Abu-Bakare is currently working on a book project borne of her PhD entitled, The ‘Colour’ in Counterterrorism: A postcolonial analysis of racialisation in British and Canadian counterterror approaches. The book centres a theory-based empirical inquiry defined by the abolitionist traditions of Pan-African sociologist W.E.B Du Bois, and an application of an anti-imperial lens to the counterterror activities of British and Canadian policymakers responding to the 2013 murder of Lee Rigby in Woolwich, England and the October 2014 terrorist attacks in Ottawa and Quebec.
The proposed text will consist of a comparative case study of British and Canadian state violence (e.g. counterterrorism as violence, and institutional racism), emanating from primary data gathered from semi-structured interviews with British and Canadian security practitioners and policymakers, theory-orientated document analysis (e.g., of policy, legal, and Hansard documents), and participant observation at government institutions (e.g., in British and Canadian parliament and civil society spaces dedicated to policy debate). The book’s key argument is that IR theory occupies a distinct position for facilitating an examination of the link between race as a structuring principle and transnational processes of violence legitimised by policymakers and security practitioners in the name of countering Islamist and far-Right extremism. This becomes evident when IR, via an analysis of transnational counterterrorism approaches, is examined through a schema of coloniality and a conceptual framework of the Duboisean colour line – the theorised existence of a “dark meridian along which Western imperialism” has and continues to divide the world into “blocs of light and dark races” (Narayan 2019:953).