What Have We Learned, If Anything? The Consequences of post-7/7 Counter-Terrorism
Room 11.14, Social Sciences Building
Part of the Security, Development and Democracy Seminar Series
The speaker is author of Warrior's Dishonour: Barbarity, Morality and Torture in Modern Warfare (Ashgate, 2006) and editor of The Barbarisation of Warfare (New York University Press, 2006), and Playing Politics with Terrorism (Hurst, 2007).
Speaker: Dr. George Kassimeris, Senior Research Fellow in Conflict and Terrorism, University of Wolverhampton.
Confronting terrorism from within as well as from without is a fraught and complex task for any government. First and foremost, there is the crucial challenge of holding the balance between public safety and fundamental democratic liberties and values.
Terrorism shapes interactions among political actors over long periods of time through a dynamic process in which violence alters the conditions under which it initially occurs. Many consequences are unintended, but it is rare that the government's responses in countering terrorism do not alter political institutions, values, and behavior, as well as the overall function of society.
This paper will argue that it is critically important to assess the effects, not only of terrorism, but of counter-terrorism on social and political structures as they relate to stability and democracy. It is this paper's view that certain models of counter-terrorism policy and rhetoric can actually do more harm than good.
Drawing primarily on the UK's post-7/7 counter-terrorism experiences this paper will try to answer the question of how does a society assess how many of its values should be surrendered in order to increase protection from terrorist attacks, and whether the resulting policies should preserve both value-driven politics, as well as liberal democracy on which these policies are based.
Listen again to the talk (MP3, 31MB - 1 hour 32 minutes)
Room 11.14 is located on Level 11 of the Social Sciences Building.