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Constructions of self and other in parliamentary debate

In Chapters 4 and 5 we saw how parliamentarians debate orders from the executive to extend the UK’s list of proscribed organisations. As argued there, these debates include, amongst other things, diverse perspectives on proscription’s significance, as well as a range of questions regarding proscription’s mechanics, consequences and beyond. These perspectives and questions, we argued, help to make proscription meaningful (for national security, citizenship and so forth), shedding light on a more complex politics of security than we might expect, and than is

in Banning them, securing us?
Reproducing liberal democracy

the dynamics that might bring it under pressure, be they significant events, the specific organisations targeted for proscription, party political allegiances, or even whether contributors to these debates positioned themselves as advocates or critics of the UK’s proscription regime. In this chapter, we bring all of this together by asking, in light of the above: what, exactly, should we make of parliamentary proscription debates and their apparent stability over time? Our answer (hinted at in the chapter title!) involves further reflection on three important

in Banning them, securing us?
Sources of parliamentary support and opposition

political tool, as well as its specific advantages for combating terrorism. A second section then elaborates on the diverse ways in which parliamentarians describe proscription’s value, including the multiple functions of deterrence, disruption and communication claimed for this power. A third section explores four recurrent types of criticism or limitation identified within these debates. These relate to: questions of effectiveness; fears around proscription’s counter-productivity; worries around intrusions upon civil liberties; and broader concerns for democracy

in Banning them, securing us?
Editors: David Durnin and Ian Miller

Medicine, Health and Irish Experiences of Conflict, 1914-45 is the first exploration of Irish medical and health experiences during the First and Second World Wars, as well as during the Irish revolutionary period. It examines the physical, mental and emotional impact of conflict on Irish political and social life and medical, scientific and official interventions in Irish health matters. The volume asks: What made Irish medical and health experiences unique? Did the financial exigencies of war impact detrimentally on Irish health care provision? How were psychological and emotional responses to war managed in Ireland? Did Ireland witness unique disease trends? And how did Irish medical communities and volunteers partake in international war efforts? The authors suggest that twentieth-century warfare and political unrest profoundly shaped Irish experiences of medicine and health and that Irish political, social and economic contexts added unique contours to those experiences not evident in other countries. In pursuing these themes, Medicine, Health and Irish Experiences of Conflict, 1914-45 offers an original and focused intervention into a central, but so far unexplored, theme in Irish medical history.

Affordable threats?

On the afternoon of September 11 2001 the Irish Prime Minister (Taoiseach), Bertie Ahern ordered the ‘heads of the security services of key government departments’ to undertake a complete re-evaluation of measures to protect the state from attack. Hence, underway within hours of the 9/11 outrage in the United States was potentially the most far-reaching review of Irish national security in decades. This book, an academic investigation of Irish national security policy as it has operated since 9/11, provides a theoretically informed analysis of that re-evaluation and the decisions that were taken as a consequence of it up until September 2008. In so doing, it draws on unprecedented access to Ireland's police, security and intelligence agencies; over twenty senior personnel agreed to be interviewed. Questions are raised over the effectiveness of the Irish agencies, the relative absence of naval and airborne defence and the impact on national security of the policy imperative to transform the Defence Forces, particularly the army, for more robust missions overseas. The book also considers the securitisation of Irish immigration policy and the apparent absence of a coherent integration policy despite international evidence suggesting the potential for radicalisation in socially marginalised western communities. Theoretically, the book demonstrates the utility to the analysis of national security policy of three conceptual models of historical institutionalism, governmental politics and threat evaluation.

The politics of coherence and effectiveness

This book represents the first ever comprehensive study of the EU’s foreign and security policy in Bosnia since the dissolution of the Yugoslav Federation in 1991. Drawing on historical institutionalism, it explains the EU’s contribution to post-conflict stabilisation and conflict resolution in Bosnia. The book demonstrates that institutions are a key variable in explaining levels of coherence and effectiveness of the EU’s Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) and that institutional legacies and unintended consequences have shaped CFSP impact over time. In doing so, it also sheds new light on the role that intergovernmental, bureaucratic and local political contestation have played in the formulation and implementation of a European foreign and security policy. The study concludes that the EU’s involvement in Bosnia has not only had a significant impact on this Balkan country in its path from stabilisation to integration, but has also transformed the EU, its foreign and security policy and shaped the development of the EU’s international identity along the way.

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Bush and Rumsfeld in Iraq

Beneath the violence of the U.S. war in Iraq was a subterranean conflict between President Bush and Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld, rooted in their different beliefs and leadership styles. Bush was prepared to pay a high cost in American lives, treasure, and prestige to win. Rumsfeld favored turning the war over to the Iraqis, and was comfortable with the risk that Iraq would disintegrate into chaos. Only after Bush removed Rumsfeld in late 2006 did he bring U.S. strategy into line with his goals, sending additional troops to Iraq and committing to continued U.S. involvement. Bush abandoned Rumsfeld’s withdrawal approach, predicated upon the beliefs that “it's the Iraqis’ country,” and “we have to take our hand off the bicycle seat.”

In Leaders in Conflict, Stephen Benedict Dyson shows that Bush and Rumsfeld thought about international politics, and about leadership, in divergent ways. The president embraced binary thinking, was visceral in his commitment to the war, and had a strong belief that the U.S. both could and should shape events in Iraq. The secretary saw the world as complex, and was skeptical of the extent of U.S. influence over events and of the moral imperative to stay involved.

The book is based upon more than two dozen interviews with administration insiders, and appeals to those interested in the U.S. foreign policy, the U.S. presidency, leadership and wartime decision making.

The politics of Prevent

How can potential future terrorists be identified? Forming one of the four pillars of the United Kingdom’s counter-terrorism strategy CONTEST, Prevent seeks to answer, and act on, this question. Occupying a central role in security debates post-9/11, Prevent is concerned with understanding and tackling radicalisation. It carries the promise of early intervention into the lives of those who may be on a pathway to violence.

This book offers an innovative account of the Prevent policy, situating it as a novel form of power that has played a central role in the production and the policing of contemporary British identity. Drawing on interviews with those at the heart of Prevent’s development, the book provides readers with an in-depth history and conceptualisation of the policy. The book demonstrates that Prevent is an ambitious new way of thinking about violence that has led to the creation of a radical new role for the state: tackling vulnerability to radicalisation. Foregrounding the analytical relationship between security, identity and temporality in Prevent, this book situates the policy as central to contemporary identity politics in the UK. Detailing the history of the policy, and the concepts and practices that have been developed within Prevent, this book critically engages with the assumptions on which they are based and the forms of power they mobilise.

In providing a timely history and analysis of British counter-radicalisation policy, this book will be of interests to students and academics interested in contemporary security policy and domestic responses to the ‘War on Terror’.

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Christoph Menke in dialogue
Series: Critical Powers
Editor: Christoph Menke

This book focuses on the paradoxical character of law and specifically concerns the structural violence of law as the political imposition of normative order onto a "lawless" condition. The paradox of law which grounds and motivates Christoph Menke's intervention is that law is both the opposite of violence and, at the same time, a form of violence. The book develops its engagement with the paradox of law in two stages. The first shows why, and in what precise sense, the law is irreducibly characterized by structural violence. The second explores the possibility of law becoming self-reflectively aware of its own violence and, hence, of the form of a self-critique of law in view of its own violence. The Book's philosophical claims are developed through analyses of works of drama: two classical tragedies in the first part and two modern dramas in the second part. It attempts to illuminate the paradoxical nature of law by way of a philosophical interpretation of literature. There are at least two normative orders within the European ethical horizon that should be called "legal orders" even though they forego the use of coercion and are thus potentially nonviolent. These are international law and Jewish law. Understanding the relationship between law and violence is one of the most urgent challenges a postmodern critical legal theory faces today. Self-reflection, the philosophical concept that plays a key role in the essay, stands opposed to all forms of spontaneity.

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4 Procedural violence Listen – there's no war that will end all wars. Haruki Murakami, Kafka on the Shore (2005: 416) The biopolitical anti-politics of modernity is a dubious form of politics for Arendt, one that has ceased to have meaning, beyond meaninglessness, once it becomes nothing more than ‘a necessary evil for sustaining the life of humanity

in Death machines