TERRORISM AND POLITICS
TUES: Terrorism and Limiting Legal Rights
THUR: Terrorism and Government Surveillance
Next Tuesday: Overview of final exam, mini lecture on International Politics.
No Lecture on Thursday December 5 th
1. Terrorism: Concept and Competing Interests
2. Legal Rights and Legitimacy
3. Case Study: National Security Certificates
CONCEPT OF TERRORISM
Definition: Use of violence, fear, and intimidation to bring about political goals.
Example: 9/11 Attacks
Series of coordinated suicide attacks by the Islamic militant group AlQaeda.
Hijacking and crashing of passenger airlines into civilian and government buildings.
Motives: raise awareness of and alter western foreign policy in Middle East (US troops
in Saudi Arabia; US support of Israel; sanctions against Iraq)
DIRECT IMPACT OF TERRORISM
Life and Physical Security: harm to citizens
Political Life: threat to political structure (assassination of political leaders; fear of
Economic Life: impact on economic growth due to higher security market anxiety
Individual Freedom: fear from arm leads people to forgo normal activities participating
in public events, expressing one’s views, belonging to certain associations)
CANADIAN ANTITERRORISM LEGISLATION
Secrecy and Surveillance:
Powers to keep information relating to national security secret from the public (i.e.
activities and techniques of police/security forces).
Greater electronic surveillance powers
Public listing of terrorist groups (can include religious and civil groups that may be
indirectly linked to former terrorist organizations)
Arrest and Detainment: Preventive arrests of citizens (if believed a person might commit a terrorist act –
reviewable by judges)
Broad detainment powers over noncitizens (permanent residents, refugees, foreign
COMPETING INTERESTS IN A LIBERLA DEMOCRACY
Protecting society is important. However, pursuit of security raises concerns.
Legal Rights: powers of detainment and deportation, secret trials threaten procedural
fairness and rue of law in the exercise of political power.
Privacy Rights: Government surveillance threatens the right to privacy and its associated
interests (“big brother” police state, limiting freedom)
Minority Rights: Arab and Muslim communities have expressed concern over anti
terrorism legislation (fear to express views or associate with community members due to
possible arrest, deportation or being listed as a “terrorist organization”)
Critical Question: in the drive to promote security, have liberal democracies sacrificed
fundamental values? Are they undercutting their legitimacy?
LIBERAL DEMOCRACY AND LEGITIMATE AUTHORITY
Liberal democratic theory is based in a