America’s War on Terrorism: The Revival of the Nation-State Versus Universal Human Rights

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This study explores the implications of the War on Terror for human rights on a global scale, from a political science perspective. The work explores policy implications on human rights domestically and globally and implications of law, specifically the doctrine of the rule of law, civil liberties, justice and freedom. Case studies are included on countries in Southeast Asia seen as crucial to the War.


“Written with clarity and conviction, and combining a wealth of evidence with sharp analysis, it should be compulsory reading for anyone, including academics, policymakers, media persons and civil society actors, who are interested in restoring the international community’s emphasis on freedom from fear from the fear of freedom mindset that has engulfed us since the 9/11 attacks.” - Amitav Acharya, Professor of Global Governance, Department of Politics, University of Bristol

“Kenneth Christie’s book comes exactly at the right time to disentangle sentiment from fact, at precisely the time where many of us are indeed waking up, not to the evils of terrorism but to how an ill-defined concept has been pressed into service in the name of security to role back human rights. . . . The book addresses the right questions about the policy and the rule of law implications of the war on terror, but it also lays out hope, ultimately, that if we can get through these dark days there can be opportunities for a new human rights regime to emerge within a reconfigured understanding of international relations.” – Professor Josef Progler, College of Asia-Pacific Studies, Asia-Pacific University, Beppu, Japan

“This work makes the assertion that international humanitarian norms had reached an advances state in the post-Cold War period. While this my itself be contested . . . the point is sound enough: the end of the Cold War drove human rights in an unprecedented manner; the initiation of the ‘GWOT’ signaled its retardation, a brutal winding back. Human norms have been subordinated to the overall interests of security, something the author calls ‘securitization’. This is a point the author makes with force.” – Dr. Binoy Kampmark, Senior Research Fellow, Selwyn College, University of Cambridge

Table of Contents

Preface by Amitav Acharya
1 The Dilemma of Global Terrorism and Human Rights
2 Terrorism and Human rights: Patterns and Effects
3 The War on Terror
4 New Global, Old Local Terror: Al Qaeda and other networks
5 Terror, Human rights and the Law
6 Case Studies Fighting Terror, Denying Human rights
7 The Case of terrorism and Human rights in Southeast Asia
8 Civil Liberties; domestic rights
9 The International community and Global Terrorism
10 Conclusion: Where do we go from here?: Securing Human rights?

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