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Fresh Perspectives on the 'War on Terror'

Fresh Perspectives on the 'War on Terror' OPEN ACCESS

Miriam Gani
Penelope Mathew
Copyright Date: 2008
Published by: ANU Press
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  • Book Info
    Fresh Perspectives on the 'War on Terror'
    Book Description:

    On 20 September 2001, in an address to a Joint Session of Congress and the American people, President George W Bush declared a 'war on terror'. The concept of the 'war on terror' has proven to be both an attractive and a potent rhetorical device. It has been adopted and elaborated upon by political leaders around the world, particularly in the context of military action in Afghanistan and Iraq. But use of the rhetoric has not been confined to the military context. The 'war on terror' is a domestic one, also, and the phrase has been used to account for broad criminal legislation, sweeping agency powers and potential human rights abuses throughout much of the world. This collection seeks both to draw on and to engage critically with the metaphor of war in the context of terrorism. It brings together a group of experts from Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom, France and Germany who write about terrorism from a variety of disciplinary perspectives including international law and international relations, public and constitutional law, criminal law and criminology, legal theory, and psychology and law.

    eISBN: 978-1-921313-74-5
    Subjects: Political Science
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Table of Contents

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  1. Miriam Gani and Penelope Mathew

    On 20 September 2001, in an address to a Joint Session of Congress and the American people, President George W Bush declared a ′war on terror′.¹ He did so, of course, in the immediate aftermath of the events of 9/11, when the United States and most of the world was reeling with shock and horror.

    That address still reverberates for more reasons than the famous declaration of war. It was here that President Bush both characterised the parties to the ′war′ and set the parameters of the combat:

    Our response involves far more than instant retaliation and isolated strikes. Americans...

  2. Part One Identifying the Threat and Choosing the Weapons
    • John Strawson

      The debate about the relationship between Islam and terrorism is at a critical stage. While crass Orientalist arguments¹ that Islam is essentially violent have been largely removed from the agenda, the attempt to construct a distinction between moderate and extremist Islam has been revealed as overly simplistic. Since 11 September 2001 (9/11) most governments have attempted to distinguish between Islam as a religion practised by millions and the tiny minority of Muslims who subscribe to an interpretation of Islam that authorises the use of violence against its enemies.² However, this approach fails to engage with the complexities of Islam as...

    • Desmond Manderson

      François Marie Arouet was born in 1694 when the Ancien Régime — the iron fist of Louis XIV in the velvet glove of Versailles — seemed insouciant, eternal, and impervious to change. Yet by the time of Arouet′s death in 1778, the Enlightenment had wrought such a destabilising effect upon the old order that it was on the point of collapse. Arouet, writing under the nom de plume Voltaire,¹ was a pivotal figure in the development of modern Western ideas about government and justice. Playwright, essayist, and critic, he was above all a relentless fighter against cruelty and superstition. I...

    • W Wesley Pue

      The twenty-first century begins obsessed with matters of security and the supposed need to ′trade-off′ security and liberty. So pervasive is this obsession that a recent Hollywood movie, known more for its state-of-the-art special effects and tortured plot lines than for its thought-provoking quality begins, dramatically, with the reading of an Emergency Proclamation.

      The setting is Bermuda, a British overseas possession, in the eighteenth century. Its opening scene portrays a mass hanging, conducted with military efficiency. The victims are an array of hapless souls including men and women of all ages and a pre-pubescent boy. The first words spoken in...

  3. Part Two Preparing the Ground:: Balance, Proportionality, and Public Perceptions
  4. Part Three Rules of Engagement:: Beyond the Limits of the Law
  5. Part Four Reports from Two Theatres of War:: Legislation, Sanctions and Prosecutions in Europe and Australia
  6. Part Five Calling a Halt:: The Role of Bills of Rights