Biotypologies of Terrorism

Main Article Content

Joseph Pugliese


The International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) document, ‘Training Keys #581: Suicide (Homicide) Bombers: Part 1,’ is designed to assist law enforcement authorities in the pre-emptive capture of prospective suicide bombers. In this essay, Pugliese focuses on the training key to examine the manner in which essentialised biotypologies are mobilised and reproduced within the context of the so-called ‘war on terror.’ The use of biotypologies by both the military and law enforcement agencies reproduces a disciplinary biopolitical regime premised on normative conceptualisations of race, gender and bodily behaviour. Pugliese discusses these regimes in the context of the US Department of Defense and its advocacy of ‘identity dominance’ through the development of new technologies such as gait signature biometrics. Situated in this context, he shows how biotypologies of targeted subjects are instrumental in fomenting cultural panics concerning the Arab and/or Muslim and/or figure ‘of Middle Eastern appearance’.

Article Details

Panic (Peer Reviewed)
Author Biography

Joseph Pugliese, Macquarie University

 Joseph Pugliese is Associate Professor in the Department of Cultural Studies, Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia. His current research includes: refugee trauma in civilian contexts; biometric technologies and race; and the transposition of Levinasian ethics to terrorist practices.