Freedom Or Security: The Consequences for Democracies Using Emergency Powers to Fight Terror

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Greenwood Publishing Group, 2003 - Political Science - 218 pages

Several democratic countries have used emergency powers to restrict or suspend individual liberties in order to fight terrorism more effectively. Emergency powers are controversial in their potential to undermine democracy and civil liberties. Freeman challenges popular arguments of both the supporters of emergency powers, who focus on their expected effectiveness, and the critics, who focus on the dangers. In reality, the recent experiences of four different democratic states that have invoked emergency powers show that a positive outcome is just as likely as negative outcome.

As the United States fights its war against terrorism, it should heed the lessons learned by other democracies in similar struggles, particularly Great Britain's relationship with Northern Ireland in the 70s and 80s, Uruguay's response to the Tupamaros in the late 60s and early 70s, Canada's dealings with the FLQ in 1970, and Peru's conflict with the Shining Path movement in the 80s and early 90s.

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The Tradeoff of Emergency Powers
Explaining the Consequences of Emergency Powers
Northern Ireland and the IRA
Uruguay and the Tupamaros
Canada and the FLQ
Peru and the Shining Path
The Tradeoff Revisited

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Page 6 - Therefore, in time of crisis a democratic, constitutional government must be temporarily altered to whatever degree is necessary to overcome the peril and restore normal conditions. This alteration invariably involves government of a stronger character; that is, the government will have more power and the people fewer rights.
Page 121 - His Majesty, or under the authority of the Governor in Council shall be conclusive evidence that war, invasion, or insurrection, real or apprehended, exists and has existed for any period of time therein stated, and of its continuance, until by the issue of a further proclamation it is declared that the war, invasion or insurrection no longer exists.
Page 6 - At present, few questions of political organisation are of more immediate concern than the problem of constitutional emergency powers. "The problem itself is almost as old as the constitutional Government. . . . From ancient Rome down to the present, most constitutional states have, therefore, considered it wise to provide some regular means for the suspension of normal political procedures in the face of temporary crisis. But even though the need has...
Page 76 - British government should: 1 . End its campaign of violence against the Irish people. 2. Abolish Stormont. 3. Hold free elections to establish a regional parliament for the Province of Ulster as a first step towards a new government for the thirty-two counties. 4. Release all Irish political prisoners, tried or untried, in England and Ireland. 5. Compensate all those who had suffered as a result of British violence. Still the only overt signs of IRA activity on the streets of Belfast were riots,...
Page 80 - PIRA will probably continue to recruit the men it needs. They will still be able to attract enough people with leadership talent, good education and manual skills to continue to enhance their all round professionalism. The Movement will retain popular support sufficient to maintain secure bases in the traditional Republican...
Page 2 - History teaches that grave threats to liberty often come in times of urgency, when constitutional rights seem too extravagant to endure.
Page 45 - We may therefore now attempt to define terrorism as the deliberate creation and exploitation of fear through violence or the threat of violence in the pursuit of political change.
Page 66 - The three-day and seven-day detention orders are breaking volunteers and it is the Republican Army's fault for not indoctrinating volunteers with the psychological strength to resist interrogation. Coupled with this factor which is contributing to our defeat we are burdened with an inefficient infrastructure of commands, brigades, battalions and companies. This old system with which the Brits and Branch are familiar has to be changed.
Page 104 - AFFAIRS military participation was partially sequential, taking on different national institutions in a constantly escalating struggle. The sequence began with the national police, and expanded to include the press, the political parties, the broadcast media. the legislature, and the presidency, and after formal entry into politics, continued against the labor unions, the national university, and students. The success of the strategy increasingly enabled the military to achieve its principal objective,...

About the author (2003)

MICHAEL FREEMAN is a scholar of terrorism, international relations, and U.S. foreign policy. He has spent several years as a political analyst for the U.S. Government and is currently an independent political risk consultant.

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