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Cover Criminology

13. Terrorism and the politics of fear  

Frank Furedi

This chapter provides a general introduction to the subject of terrorism and poses a series of important questions about how to define terrorism against a backdrop of contemporary fears in a risk-averse society. It begins by casting doubt on simple, typically narrow, definitions of terrorism, before then going on to deconstruct the climate of fear currently surrounding the majority of research in this area. The chapter looks at current counter-terrorism measures and recently invoked anti-terrorist legislation. It argues that, if governments continue to adopt a cavalier attitude towards civil liberties, they face the risk of playing into the very hands of those who promote and perpetrate political violence.


Cover Human Rights Law Directions

26. Anti-terrorism law and human rights  

Without assuming prior legal knowledge, books in the Directions series introduce and guide readers through key points of la and legal debate. It discusses European Convention law and relates it to domestic law under the HRA. Questions, discussion points, and thinking points help readers to engage fully with each subject and check their understanding as they progress and knowledge can be tested by self-test questions and exam questions at the chapter end. This chapter considers the application of human rights in the special circumstances of the threat of terrorism and counter-terrorism measures taken in the UK. It considers the compatibility of the Terrorism Act 2000, and other subsequent measures, with human rights. This includes matters such as the definition of terrorism, police powers under the Act (such as random stop and search), and measures, such as TPIMs, to control terrorist suspects. The impact of these measures on the right to liberty and on private life are important themes. The chapter also considers the effect of such measures on the right to a fair hearing (in Articles 5 and 6). These special powers are often controversial giving rise, as they do, to important tensions between the rule of law and the duty on states to uphold the safety and security of the population.