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Reflections on harming the innocent
Thomas Pogge

, including 88 Australians, have been killed in Kuta on the Indonesian island of Bali on 12 October 2002; 191 people were killed in the Madrid bombing of 11 March 2004; and the terrorist attack of 7 July 2005 in London killed 52 people. Why wage war against these terrorists? Offhand, one might think that such a grand response to terrorism is undeserved. This thought is supported by comparisons with other threats to our life and well-being – cardiovascular disease and cancer, for instance, annually kill some 250,000 and 150,000 people, respectively, in the U.K. alone

in ‘War on terror’
Michael Byers

international law dependent on the practice of states, and treaty negotiations replete with political, economic and military pressures, it comes as no surprise that powerful countries can exercise disproportionate influence on the making and changing of international rules. And because they can, countries such as the United States deliberately seek to modify international law in accordance with their changing interests, for instance, by pushing for a right of self-defence against terrorism, or more flexible rules concerning the treatment of detainees. Yet the fact that

in ‘War on terror’
Jeff McMahan

What terrorism is Most of us agree that terrorism is always, or almost always, wrong, which is hardly surprising, since the word is generally used to express disapproval. If an act of which we approve has features characteristic of terrorism, we will be careful to deny that it is in fact an act of terrorism. For example, those who believe that the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were morally justified tend to deny that they were instances of terrorism. So while we agree that terrorism is almost always wrong, we sometimes disagree about what it

in ‘War on terror’
Conor Gearty

Terror and terrorism For many years I worried with all the other so-called ‘terrorism experts’ about the fact that there was no proper, objective definition of terrorism. I even abandoned a law textbook I planned on the subject on account of the inadequacy of my introductory chapter. In the end I wrote a book on terrorism that was more about language and the power of labels than it was about killing and kidnapping. 1 This was because it had eventually dawned on me that the whole point of the subject of terrorism was that there was no definition

in ‘War on terror’
María José Sarrabayrouse Oliveira

The military coup of March 1976 in Argentina ruptured the prevailing institutional order, with the greater part of its repressive strategy built on clandestine practices and tactics (death, torture and disappearance) that sowed fear across large swathes of Argentine society. Simultaneously, the terrorist state established a parallel, de facto legal order through which it endeavoured to legitimise its actions. Among other social forces, the judicial branch played a pivotal role in this project of legitimisation. While conscious of the fact that many of those inside the justice system were also targets of oppression, I would like to argue that the dictatorship‘s approach was not to establish a new judicial authority but, rather, to build upon the existing institutional structure, remodelling it to suit its own interests and objectives. Based on an analysis of the criminal and administrative proceedings that together were known as the Case of the judicial morgue, this article aims to examine the ways in which the bodies of the detained-disappeared that entered the morgue during the dictatorship were handled, as well as the rationales and practices of the doctors and other employees who played a part in this process. Finally, it aims to reflect upon the traces left by judicial and administrative bureaucratic structures in relation to the crimes committed by the dictatorship, and on the legal strategies adopted by lawyers and the families of the victims.

Human Remains and Violence: An Interdisciplinary Journal
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The Oxford Amnesty Lectures 2006

'Terror' is a diffuse notion that takes no account of local particularities and 'war on terror' is a contradiction in terms. This book is based on the lectures that were given on the subject in Oxford in 2006. Amnesty has described 'war on terror' as a war on human rights. It is also a contest of narratives: stories that the protagonists tell about themselves, about their enemies, and about what is happening now. The book considers how the recent actions of the United States have stressed and stretched two areas of international law: the right of self-defence, and the rules of international humanitarian law. State terrorism, with a bit of careful spin, can be reclassified as counter-terrorism, in other words as inherently good in the same way that terrorism is inherently bad. The book engages with the politico-conceptual difficulties of distinguishing between war and terrorism. The interface and tensions between the human rights tradition and the Islamic tradition, particularly Islamic law, is discussed. The intensification of Western repression against Islamic thinkers or activists has at times been coupled with policies that seemed designed to change the religious trajectory of society. The sexualization of torture is only one way in which the 'war on terror' has delineated who is (and who is not) human. Religion, human rights, and trauma narratives are three other mechanisms for rationalizing suffering. The book also discusses the subject of censuring reckless killing of innocent civilians by the issue of fatwas by Muslim teachers.

Perceptions, experiences, and consequences

This book explores citizens’ perceptions and experiences of security threats in contemporary Britain, drawing on perspectives from International Security Studies and Political Psychology. The empirical chapters are based on twenty focus groups across six British cities and a large sample survey conducted between April and September 2012. These data are used to investigate the extent to which diverse publics share government framings of certain issues as the most pressing security threats, to assess the origins of perceptions of specific security threats ranging from terrorism to environmental degradation, to investigate what makes some people feel more threatened by these issues than others, to examine the effects of threats on other areas of politics such as harbouring stereotypes of minorities or prioritising public spending on border control over health, and to evaluate the effectiveness of government messages about security threats and attempts to change citizens’ behaviour as part of the risk management cycle. The book demonstrates widespread heterogeneity in perceptions of issues as security threats and in their origins, with implications for the extent to which shared understandings of threats are an attainable goal. The concluding chapter summarises the findings and discusses their implications for government and public opinion in the future. While this study focuses on the British case, its combination of quantitative and qualitative methods seeks to make broader theoretical and methodological contributions to scholarship produced in Political Science, International Relations, Political Psychology, and Security Studies.

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Bat-Ami Bar On

The initial context for this essay included the war in Afghanistan (2001–), the war in Iraq (2003–) and terrorist attacks such as those of 11 September 2001, 11 March 2004, and 7 July 2005. These events have been discursively connected by talk about ‘international terrorism’ and ‘the war on terror’, a connection hotly contested ever since it surfaced in speeches by U.S. president George W. Bush (and members of his administration) following 11 September 2001. 1 I do not here intend to contribute to the multifaceted debate about the ‘war on terror’, though

in ‘War on terror’
Daniel Stevens
Nick Vaughan-Williams

four specific threats of terrorism, immigration, the economy, and environmental degradation at the global, national, community, and personal levels – and political attitudes and behaviours. While there are other reasons to understand the origins of perceptions of security threats, the issue becomes of less political import if these perceptions do not lead to the kinds of compromises in democratic

in Everyday security threats
In the hyphen of the nation-state

The book analyses why religious and racial minorities in Britain and France are unable to integrate into the nation-state. By examining their religious and cultural integration as well as their postcolonial status, I make the argument that historical attitudes towards postcolonial minorities make it very hard for them to be integrated into national life even as they become legal citizens.