Human Rights in the 'War on Terror'

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Overview

This book asks whether human rights, since the 9/11 attacks and the 'war on terror,' are a luxury we can no longer afford, or rights that must always remain a fundamental part of democratic politics, in order to determine the boundary between individual freedom and government tyranny. This volume brings together leading international lawyers, policy-makers, scholars and activists in the field of human rights to evaluate the impact of the 'war on terror' on human rights, as well as to develop a counter-terror strategy which takes human rights seriously. While some contributors argue that war is necessary in defense of liberal democracy, others assert that it is time to move away from the war model towards a new paradigm based upon respect for human rights, an internationally-coordinated anti-terror justice strategy, and a long-term political vision that can reduce the global tensions that generate a political constituency for terrorists.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Human Rights in the 'The War on Terror'” is a pocket handbook of powerful thinking for policymakers, intellectuals, and engaged citizens grappling with the most elemental issues a democracy can face. Can a genuine commitment to human rights be part of an effective strategy to defeat a serious threat to national security? Can a nation treat its enemies in wartime consistently with its creed in peacetime? Are we fighting a war against terror or a war for our souls? Readers may disagree with some of the answers offered here, but they will find few better guides to navigating the questions."
Anne-Marie Slaughter

"This is a timely collection of essays by an authoritative array of scholars and practitioners. It addresses the key issue of the post-9/11/2001 decade, that is, the reconcilability or otherwise of human rights with the need to confront high-profile or catastrophic terrorism. It also deals with aspects of the legality of the war in Iraq, notably, from the perspective of the controversial doctrine of humanitarian intervention. It provides much of interest to anyone concerned about these compelling questions."
Sir Nigel Rodley, UN Human Rights Committee, UN Special Rapporteur on Torture 1993-2001

"The book Human Rights in the 'War on Terror' is by far the most comprehensive and illuminating review of the titled subject matter published to date. The contributing authors represent many of the pre-eminent human rights legal scholars in the world. Their unprecedented, in-depth examinations of the issues reveal new insights on an old problem - combating terrorism. Their collective message, however, is both indisputable and far-reaching: there is nothing contradictory between countering terrorism and upholding human rights."
Mark S. Ellis, Executive Director, International Bar Association

"This insightful book informs readers about the importance of preserving human rights as governments engage in the 'war on terror'. As governments seek to protect their citizens from terrorism, civil liberties and human rights can be challenged and restricted. Bringing together scholars and activists, this volume sets forth intelligent and persuasive arguments for why counter-terrorism policies must include respect for human rights principles."
Nadine Strossen, President, American Civil Liberties Union, and Professor of Law, New York Law School

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521618335
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 9/30/2005
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 366
  • Product dimensions: 5.98 (w) x 8.98 (h) x 0.71 (d)

Meet the Author

Richard A. Wilson is the Director of the Human Rights Institute at the University of Connecticut. He obtained his BSc. and PhD from the London School of Economics and Political Science. He is the author of numerous works on political violence and social movements in Guatemala and he has done research on questions of memory, truth and justice and the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission. He is Associate Editor of the journal Anthropological Theory and serves on the editorial board of Critique of Anthropology, Social Justice, and the Journal of Human Rights.

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Table of Contents

Introduction Richard Ashby Wilson; 1. Order, rights, and threats: terrorism and global justice Michael Freeman; 2. Liberal security Fernando Tesón; 3. The human rights case for the war in Iraq: a consequentialist view Thomas Cushman; 4. Human rights as an ethics of power John Wallach; 5. How not to promote democracy and human rights Aryeh Neier; 6. War in Iraq: not a humanitarian intervention Kenneth Roth; 7. The tension between combating terrorism and protecting civil liberties Richard Goldstone; 8. Fair trials for terrorists? Geoffrey Robertson; 9. Nationalizing the lcoal: comparative notes on the recent restructuring of political space Carol J. Greenhouse; 10. The impact of counter terror on the promotion and protection of human rights: a global perspective Neil Hicks; 11. Human rights: a descending spiral Richard Falk; 12. Eight fallacies about liberty and security David Luban; 13. Our privacy, ourselves in the age of technological intrusions Peter Galison and Martha Minow; 14. Are human rights universal in the age of terrorism? Wiktor Osiatynski; 15. Connecting human rights, human development and human security Mary Robinson; 16. Human rights and civil society in a new age of American exceptionalism Julie Mertus.

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 24, 2008

    A mixed bag, revealing some liberals as warmongers

    This collection of seventeen essays arose from 2004¿s Inaugural Conference of the Human Rights Institute of the University of Connecticut, of which the editor is Director. Eighteen lawyers, policy-makers, activists and scholars (thirteen from the USA, two from Britain, one from South Africa, one from Latvia, and Ireland¿s former president Mary Robinson) assess the wars and policies adopted since 9/11, and try to create a counter-terror strategy that takes seriously both human rights and the security threat from Islamic terrorism. In his introduction, Wilson points out that the British state¿s repressive policies in Northern Ireland in the 1970s ¿ special courts, detention without trial, suspension of habeas corpus, torture of prisoners ¿ were all wrong, ineffective and counter-productive. They strengthened the terrorists¿ popular support and recruitment base, and damaged democracy in Britain. Now the US state, with the Labour government¿s support, uses the same policies. As Lord Steyn warned, ¿the purpose of holding the prisoners at Guantanamo Bay was and is to put them beyond the rule of law, beyond the protection of any courts, and at the mercy of the victors. The procedural rules do not prohibit the use of force to coerce prisoners to confess.¿ The US example has led other states to use the `war on terror¿ to destroy human rights, attack human rights defenders and militarise conflicts. Several contributors ¿ Wilson himself, US sociology professor Thomas Cushman and Mary Robinson - echo Senator John McCain¿s call for US-British `humanitarian¿ intervention in Sudan. Cushman even calls the Iraq war a humanitarian intervention. Clearly, some people¿s liberalism is just a cover for warmongering. The US and British states ask us, `how much liberty would you sacrifice for security?¿ But the question should be, `how much of our own protection against government errors or malice would we sacrifice for minute security gains?¿

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