This chapter offers a theoretical framework for understanding the destructive power of “radicalized narratives.” Drawing on Arendt’s notion of “radical evil” the radicalized narratives that emerged in the conflict over immigration policy, in Prince William, VA., will be examined in terms of the production of a totalitarian discursive regime and the emergence of a “contaminated” Other. The paradoxical role of the Police Chief, who protected the Others via humanizing narratives, is explored. Given the ubiquitous availability of “security” discourse, at global and national levels, this case study also addresses the circulation of radicalized narratives across institutional and political boundaries, obviating the utility of the “levels” approach to conflict analysis, which differentiates micro, mezzo and macro contexts. Instead, this case study documents the interconnectivity of security discourse.
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