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Dissent in Dangerous Times

Dissent in Dangerous Times

Edited by Austin Sarat
Copyright Date: 2005
Pages: 200
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.3998/mpub.11725
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    Dissent in Dangerous Times
    Book Description:

    Dissent in Dangerous Timespresents essays by six distinguished scholars, who provide their own unique views on the interplay of loyalty, patriotism, and dissent.While dissent has played a central role in our national history and in the American cultural imagination, it is usually dangerous to those who practice it, and always unpalatable to its targets. War does not encourage the tolerance of opposition at home any more than it does on the front: if the War on Terror is to be a permanent war, then the consequences for American political freedoms cannot be overestimated."Dissent in Dangerous Timesexamines the nature of political repression in liberal societies, and the political and legal implications of living in an environment of fear. This profound, incisive, at times even moving volume calls upon readers to think about, and beyond, September 11, reminding us of both the fragility and enduring power of freedom."--Nadine Strossen, President, American Civil Liberties Union, and Professor of Law, New York Law School.Contributors to this volumeLauren BerlantWendy BrownDavid ColeHugh GustersonNancy L. RosenblumAustin Sarat

    eISBN: 978-0-472-02552-7
    Subjects: Law, Sociology, Political Science
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Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter (pp. [i]-[vi])
  2. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS (pp. [vii]-[viii])
  3. Table of Contents (pp. [ix]-[x])
  4. TERRORISM, DISSENT, & REPRESSION: AN INTRODUCTION (pp. 1-20)
    Austin Sarat

    Dissent is always dangerous to those who practice it and vexatious to those against whom it is directed. For both the dissenter and her target, dissent stirs up strong emotions and often calls forth strident reactions. Dissenters seek to define and occupy an in-between space, resistant to prevailing orthodoxy but engaged with it nonetheless. Even as she points out its flaws and demands redress, the dissenter affirms her continuing allegiance to the community she criticizes. The dissenter insists, as Henry Louis Gates puts it, that “critique can also be a form of commitment, a means of laying a claim. It’s...

  5. Part I. CITIZENSHIP, DISSENT, & THE EXPERIENCE OF BELONGING
    • POLITICAL IDEALIZATION & ITS DISCONTENTS (pp. 23-45)
      Wendy Brown

      What is political love and what is the relationship of political love and political loyalty? If one loves a political community, does such love require uncritical solidarity with certain elements of that community, and if so, with which elements—its laws, its principles, its state institutions, its leaders, or actions taken in its name? What kind of loyalty does political love engender and require? To what extent is love compatible with critique and to what extent is critique compatible with loyalty? What counterintuitive compatibility might be discerned between critique and fealty, between critique and attachment, even between critique and love?...

    • THE EPISTEMOLOGY OF STATE EMOTION (pp. 46-78)
      Lauren Berlant

      Nuancequickly became a moral buzzword of the George W. Bush administration: even to pursue nuanced thought was deemed a performance of antipatriotism. Linking dissent and amorality with a kind of pedantry that others might call critical intellectualism or just close reading, the ideologeme’s radiant reign began in June 2001 with Peggy Noonan’s “A Chat in the Oval Office,” during which the president spoke in broad strokes about the significant post–Cold War potential opened up by Russia joining NATO, while acknowledging that “I haven’t thought about the nuance of it.” But the most noteworthy presidential usage came during an...

  6. Part II. RESPONSES TO DANGER IN STATE & SOCIETY:: Containing Dissent
    • THE WEAKEST LINK? ACADEMIC DISSENT IN THE “WAR ON TERRORISM” (pp. 81-110)
      Hugh Gusterson

      Writing only a week after al Qaeda’s destruction of the World Trade Center on September 11, Congressman John Conyers wondered whether the right-wing reaction to the attack might not do more damage to America than the attack itself had done. “Historically,” he said, “it has been at times of inflamed passions and national anger that our civil liberties proved to be at greatest risk, and the unpopular group of the moment was subject to prejudice and deprivation of liberty.”³ And indeed, in the months following September 11, Americans saw a dramatic curtailment of their civil liberties by their leaders in...

    • THE NEW MCCARTHYISM: REPEATING HISTORY IN THE WAR ON TERRORISM (pp. 111-145)
      David Cole

      The idea of progress is a powerful one. In 1958, in the midst of the Cold War, Yale law professor Ralph Brown opened his comprehensive study of the federal government’s loyalty and security program by claiming that censorship, “a traditional device for curbing dangerous speech, … is worthy of mention chiefly because, in the political sphere, the times have passed it by.”¹ Similarly, as we have launched a war on terrorism in response to the attacks of September 11, 2001, scholars, government officials, and pundits remind us repeatedly that we have avoided the mistakes of the past: we have not...

    • CONSTITUTIONAL REASON OF STATE: THE FEAR FACTOR (pp. 146-176)
      Nancy L. Rosenblum

      Like regimes throughout history, contemporary constitutional democracies face periodic threats to their security. These threats come from internal and external enemies—subversives and armed combatants, civilian and military—employing every imaginable means of attack, from the exploitation of electoral politics by enemies of democracy to violent terrorism. Estimates of the nature and requirements of “security” always vary, as do assessments of the threat and of what is necessary for effective self-protection. One thing is constant. Governments will wield all their resources in response to threats: police and law enforcement, emergency legislation, executive orders, ordinary and extraordinary tribunals, military mobilization. And...

  7. CONTRIBUTORS (pp. 177-178)
  8. INDEX (pp. 179-188)