“Make No Mistake—This was a Terrorist Attack”: Examining the Discursive Construction of Terrorism in Canada

It appears your Web browser is not configured to display PDF files. Download adobe Acrobat or click here to download the PDF file.

Click here to download the PDF file.


Barfoot, Laura May




'Terrorism' has been a mainstream discussion since the early 2000s. Though much academic and government research has been produced on the subject, consistent and appropriate application of the term seems to be elusive. As a result, the modern incarnation of the word carries baggage of the event that inspired its political appropriation and relies on synonyms to maneuver the limitations of legal definitions. I use critical discourse analysis to explore how terrorism and terrorist identity have been discursively constructed in the 2017 Public Report on the Terrorist Threat to Canada and its predecessors. My analysis suggests that this series of reports strategically manipulates Canadian readers by artificially inflating the 'terrorist threat' and securitizing policies and Canadians themselves. The 'war on terror' narrative persists as the difference between 'political' and 'legal' terrorism becomes increasingly unclear. These findings indicate the need for further discursive analysis of the politicization of terror in Canada.


Rhetoric and Composition




Carleton University

Thesis Degree Name: 

Master of Arts: 

Thesis Degree Level: 


Thesis Degree Discipline: 

Applied Linguistics and Discourse Studies

Parent Collection: 

Theses and Dissertations

Items in CURVE are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated. They are made available with permission from the author(s).