Fighting monsters: the Anglo-American alliance against terror
Title: Fighting monsters: the Anglo-American alliance against terror
Author: BROWN, Rory Stephen
Citation: Florence, European University Institute, 2009
Series/Number: EUI PhD theses; Department of Law
Against the backdrop of the Anglo-American alliance against terrorism, and with particular reference to four of its most controversial means (indefinite detention, torture, targeted killing, and pre-emptive self-defence), this argument advocates a particular conception of law, which, the author suggests is honest, brave, and prudent. It is honest about the hollow nature of the promises made by America and Britain; it distinguishes law proper from political rhetoric and flimsy constitutional guarantees. It is brave enough to face up to the tyrannical methods we adopted, and to admit that, yes, torture, rather than being unlawful, was part of our law for a time. It is prudent not by endorsing these controversial means (as professed realists contend is necessary) but first by revealing how such brutality surreptitiously stole into our strategies and, second, by making a cogent argument that, contrary to received wisdom, we need not become monstrous to fight monsters; that morality and self-interest, military expediency and humanitarian considerations, are, more often that might initially appear, in concert. To make this argument, to evidence that the understanding of law suggested is desirable, the author ventures out of the village of legal method, casting off the shackles of genre; he draws on history, political theory, social anthropology, religion and philosophy to describe and interpret what went wrong in the 'war on terrorism', and then to indicate how that war might better be fought in the future. He discusses a wide-range of topics; including language, image, war, crime, liberty, security, rationality, amity, enmity, identity, sex, terror, perversion, temporality, spirituality, sublimity, economy, hegemony, and finally, parliaments, the press and the public man. The public man comes last because it is the essence of this argument that his responsibility for the quality of the laws and policies by which he is governed is great; that he must hold himself to account for the integrity, vitality, and, ultimately, the continued existence of liberal democracy.
LC Subject Heading: International criminal law; Terrorism -- Prevention -- International cooperation; Terrorism -- Great Britain -- Prevention; Terrorism -- United States -- Prevention
Defense date: 28/04/2009; Examining Board: Professor Francesco Francioni, European University Institute (Supervisor) Professor Philip Allott, Trinity College, Cambridge University Professor Stephen Holmes, New York University Professor Martin Scheinin, European University Institute
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