The Cost of Counterterrorism: Power, Politics, and Liberty

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9780521605878: The Cost of Counterterrorism: Power, Politics, and Liberty

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 for evaluating counterterrorist law thus fails to capture an important characteristic: increased executive power that shifts the balance between branches of government. This book re-calculates 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, together with willingness on the part of extremists to sacrifice themselves, may drive each country to take increasingly drastic measures with a resultant shift in the basic structure of both states.

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Book Description:

What is the trade-off between security and freedom? Laura K. Donohue re-calculates the cost of counterterrorist law in the United States and the United Kingdom over the past four decades and argues that the damage caused by anti-terror legislation is significantly greater than it first appears.

About the Author:

Laura K. Donohue is a Fellow at the Constitutional Law Center at Stanford Law School and at the Freeman Spogli Institute's Center for International Security and Cooperation at Stanford University. She has written numerous articles on terrorism and counterterrorism in liberal, democratic states and is the author of Counter-Terrorist Law and Emergency Powers in the United Kingdom 1922-2000 (2001).

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