Playing Politics with Terrorism: A User's Guide (Columbia/Hurst)

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9780231700009: Playing Politics with Terrorism: A User's Guide (Columbia/Hurst)
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Today more than ever, governments are determined to protect the public by rooting out terrorists and bringing them to justice, but in dealing with extremism, governments often violate citizens' individual civil liberties. In their zeal to attack terrorism and preserve domestic security, governments pass laws that violate basic freedoms and privacies and undermine the support of the public.

To avoid hysteria and unwise policymaking, both citizens and officials need to rely on fact and sound judgment and remain skeptical of political propaganda. In this collection, scholars demonstrate that the realities of our post-9/11 world are not necessarily new. Many governments, from Putin's Russia and Fujimori's Peru to Italy in the 1970s have at times repressed the very liberty and democratic freedoms terrorists seek to destroy. Essays address the use of terrorist threat to sustain a credible anti-terrorist narrative, sway public opinion, and push through draconian legislation. For the most part, the contributors remain sympathetic to the efforts made by states to protect their citizenry; however, they encourage awareness and vigilance to prevent the wholesale exploitation of the fundamental rights of a democracy.

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About the Author:

George Kassimeris is senior research fellow in conflict and terrorism at the University of Wolverhampton and is the author of Europe's Last Red Terrorists: The Revolutionary Organization 17 November and editor of The Barbarisation of Warfare.

Review:

This is both a radical and traditional examination of the politics of terror. Radical in that it presents terrorism as a complex phenomenon rooted in real life experience best understood and combated by open minds with the support of fully-briefed populations, and traditional in that it expects political leaders to tell the truth about terror insofar as they can - and that to exploit the fears of the public for political gain is as counter-productive as it is currently widespread.

(Crispin Black, former advisor, Joint Intelligence Committee, British Cabinet Office)

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ISBN 10:  1850658633 ISBN 13:  9781850658634
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