Language, Conflict and Security
10-11 April 2010
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This report is based on an international conference held at the University of Cambridge on the 10th and 11th of April 2010. The conference brought together leading scholars, military-intelligence language experts and policy makers from around the world. The repor t aims to capture the essence of the presentations and discussions at that event, reflecting upon the varied relationships which exist between language, conflict and security, and focusing primarily on the Middle East. At this time of heightened security concern in the public sphere and an increasing emphasis on security studies in academia, a consideration of these relationships and interactions is both critical and timely. Scholarship from the fields of history and social anthropology through to politics and media studies has often paid insufficient attention to the force of terminology and semantics in social and political action. This report responds to this trend by highlighting the manifold ways in which language becomes involved in the specific processes of conflict and management of security interests.