War/terror/politics
in ‘War on terror’
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This chapter aims to engage with the politico-conceptual difficulties of distinguishing between war and terrorism. It considers Mary Kaldor's distinction between 'old' and 'new' wars in an attempt to address the contraction of the distinction between war and terrorism is a mark of 'new' wars. The chapter also considers the merits of a free-standing conception of terrorism, that is, one independent of a relationship with war. It argues that terrorism and war have a shared logic; they both derive from a belief in the efficacy of violence in politics and a consequent assumption that violence can therefore justifiably be relied on. The chapter describes that the 'supreme emergency exemption' is extremely problematic. It suggests that the shared logic of war and terrorism that needs to be focused on by those who are concerned about the relationship of violence and politics.

‘War on terror’

The Oxford Amnesty Lectures 2006

Editor: Chris Miller

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