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Human Rights-Compliant Counterterrorism

Book description

Since 9/11, we have lived in an age of counterterrorism in which the spectre of terrorism justifies increasingly repressive and violent measures. Against this backdrop, legal scholars and human rights advocates have encouraged integration of human rights into the discourse of counterterrorism as the best way to counter such repression and violence. This book challenges that received wisdom by showing the ambiguous effects of such converged discourse on developing countries. It highlights the effect of terrorism discourse on human rights in two developing countries, viz., the Philippines and Indonesia, the efforts of local advocates in resisting abuses in the name of counterterrorism, and the persistence of violations despite legal and policy reforms in those countries. Applying a novel analytic framework drawn from critical terrorism studies and critical international law, the book provokes new thinking on the future of human rights advocacy in the age of counterterrorism.


‘Jayson S. Lamchek's meticulously researched and bold political intervention into human rights scholarship forces us to rethink the institutional linkages between human rights and counter-terrorism, both in discourse and in practice. Marrying critical theory and original empirical research in the Philippines and Indonesia, Human Rights-Compliant Counterterrorism adds to the expanding literature critical both of human rights and the never-ending ‘War on Terror'. A must read.'

Ben Golder - University of New South Wales

‘Jayson S. Lamchek demonstrates compelingly the apolitically insidious nature of human rights-compliant counterterrorism. His detailed case studies of the Philippines and Indonesia show not only how the strategy justifies state violence against local activists but also how those activists present alternatives to the limited discourse of mainstream human rights.'

Eduardo Capulong - Mediation Clinic, University of Montana, Alexander Blewett III School of Law

‘This book a must-read for anyone interested in the fraught relationship between counterterrorism and human rights. Jayson S. Lamchek takes the reader on a fascinating tour of the complex workings of human rights and terrorism discourses in the Philippines and Indonesia. The book deftly weaves together theoretically rich analyses of state violence, law reform and social movement activism. Its implications for both scholarship and politics are wide-ranging. Lamchek makes a compelling argument for a radical overhaul of the idea of human rights-compliant counterterrorism, underscoring the need for a new approach that disentangles human rights from the never-ending ‘War on Terror'.'

Jeremy Farrall - Australian National University, Canberra

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