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Introduction

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  05 July 2011

Mary L. Volcansek
Affiliation:
Texas Christian University
Mary L. Volcansek
Affiliation:
Texas Christian University
John F. Stack, Jr
Affiliation:
Florida International University
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Summary

As the twenty-first century dawned, the public in the western world awakened to a new and heightened concern about terrorism as a consequence of the Al Qaeda attacks on the United States on September 11, 2001. Efforts to control and eliminate terrorism inevitably present a conundrum for democratic governance and the rule of law. Indeed, plans for a new U.S. embassy in London unveiled in 2010 can serve as a metaphor of the tensions terrorism introduces into a democracy. The structure, described as architecture serving “as a form of camouflage,” appears more like a fort than a welcoming democratic symbol (Ouroussof, 2010). Must democracies become fort-like entities rather than ones fostering freedom and self-actualization? Although the democratic promise is that liberty and security can be reconciled, how that reconciliation is achieved varies over time and by country.

Courts stand as the fulcrum to achieve a balance between protecting national security successfully and preserving democratic governance. Unfortunately, too often repression is the governmental response to violence, but repression and violence can develop a symbiotic relationship, with “each feeding off the other, in a mutually sustaining fashion” (Campbell and Connolly, 2006: 955). Democratic governance requires adherence to the rule of law, and the rule of law intrinsically entails respect for human rights (Tsoukala, 2006: 615). This book brings together analyses of how courts in the United States and eight other jurisdictions have treated governmental responses to terrorist threats and have balanced violence and repression, rights and security.

Type
Chapter
Information
Courts and Terrorism
Nine Nations Balance Rights and Security
, pp. 1 - 8
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2010

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