Proscription in context
Historical, geographical and political dynamics
in Banning them, securing us?
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This chapter situates the British use of proscription in its international context. Our core argument is that the increasingly expansive global deployment of proscription or blacklisting powers in the contemporary period is a product both of desperate legislative responses to al Qaeda’s precipitous emergence in the late 1990s and 2000s, and – at the same time – a continuity of long-standing precedents of political control. The chapter begins by exploring the use of proscription by colonial authorities in the early twentieth century, especially in attempts to contain emancipatory movements, and the increased hardening of political processes to communism in the post-war period which involved exclusions of local communist movements across states in the global North. In its second part, the chapter sets out the prevailing proscription frameworks employed by the UN and EU along with those of a selection of important states. This, we suggest, underscores the influence of the United Kingdom’s proscription laws on other countries. In the final part of the chapter, we consider how scholars have responded to the contemporary wave of blacklisting laws. Here we engage with a range of scholarships including in law, political science and sociology to unpack prominent criticisms of proscription’s efficacy and ethics.

Banning them, securing us?

Terrorism, parliament and the ritual of proscription


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