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No golden age: the deep origins and current utility of Western counter-terrorism policy

Gearty, Conor ORCID: 0000-0002-3885-2650 (2015) No golden age: the deep origins and current utility of Western counter-terrorism policy. In: English, Richard, (ed.) Illusions of terrorism and counter-terrorism. Proceedings of the British Academy. Oxford University Press, Oxford, UK, pp. 73-94. ISBN 9780197265901

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From the moment of their emergence, democracies everywhere have been alive to the importance of their survival. This institutionalised anxiety has meant that radical critiques of power differentials and wealth-inequality (which survive in all democracies) have been vulnerable to being cast as challenges not to injustice but to the integrity of democracy itself. This is the deep root of counter-terrorism law today, now not applied to a plausible threat from the radical left but rather to extreme criminal acts which, however heinous these might be, do not directly challenge the state. As inequality in democracies grows and opportunities for orthodox political change are reduced by the increasing power of money, so old style anti-radical laws are increasingly combined with contemporary terrorism laws to stifle extra-parliamentary dissent. This takes place through the deployment of political and legal devices the effect of which is to allow the continued appearance of democracy while reducing its egalitarian impact in practice.

Item Type: Book Section
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2015 Oxford University Press
Divisions: Law
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare. Criminology
K Law > K Law (General)
Date Deposited: 19 Mar 2018 09:46
Last Modified: 01 Sep 2021 23:31

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