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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.
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.
Posted July 24, 2008
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?¿Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.