Every time we travel by plane or on underground trains, official announcements remind us that total strangers might slaughter us. Such a state of affairs has come to seem normal in the early 21st century. But it is not. We do not know those who wish to kill us. We have no personal quarrel with them. Somehow political violence has become ‘unchained’ from inter-personal relationships.
In this major public lecture to open the 25th anniversary of the Handa Centre for the Study of Terrorism and Political Violence (HCSTPV), Director Tim Wilson takes a startling fresh look at the origins of our contemporary terrorism crisis: and argues that it tells us some uncomfortable truths about our own society and its publicity-seeking values. He asks the very simplest of questions: How on earth did we get here?