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The Cost of Counterterrorism – Power, Politics and Liberty

By: Laura K Donohue (411.1/35957)
Publisher: Cambridge University Press, ISBN: 9780521605878

In the aftermath of a terrorist attack political stakes are high: legislators fear being seen as lenient or indifferent and often grant the executive broader authorities without thorough debate. The judiciary’s role, too, is restricted: constitutional structure and cultural norms narrow the courts’ ability to check the executive at all but the margins. The dominant “Security or Freedom” framework fails to capture this dangerous aspect of counterterrorism: rapidly expanding executive authority that shifts the balance of power between the branches of government. This book recalculates the cost of counterterrorist law to the United Kingdom and the United States, arguing that the damage caused is significantly greater than first appears. Donohue warns that the proliferation of biological and nuclear materials may drive each country to take increasingly extreme measures, with a resultant shift in the basic structure of both states.

October 2008


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