The spectacle of ghost security
Security politics and British civil society
in Counter-terrorism and civil society
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This chapter examines the impact of British security policies on civil society and how it has shifted since 9/11. Current security politics are heavily influenced by global threats such as terrorism, organized and transnational crime. British domestic security policy is driven by the Clausewitzian notion that “to secure peace is to prepare for war.” We argue that such thinking, coupled with the politics of fear that has led to the securitization of British society, has far-reaching consequences, such as the erosion of our fundamental rights and liberties in preparation for the ever-evolving security challenges of the future. This securitization has become normalized, allowing the introduction of ever more authoritarian and repressive measures to “tackle” these “new security challenges.” Securitization has become an ideological tool of internal political repression, legitimizing the current neoliberal status quo and depoliticizing the masses. Current measures are undermining open democratic debates, our civil liberties such as the freedom of expression and privacy, and to some extent the freedom of the press. Securitization, we will argue, has increased our sense of insecurity and continues to have a negative effect on civil society. Rather than securitizing issues such as terrorism and organized crime, we should be looking to politicize them in non-security ways. Destroying the spirit of liberty and securitizing society will sow the seeds of despotism at our own door.

Counter-terrorism and civil society

Post-9/11 progress and challenges

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