Globalisation, Citizenship and the War on Terror

Globalisation, Citizenship and the War on Terror

Edited by Maurice Mullard and Bankole A. Cole

This book explores globalisation and the war on terror in a world that is becoming increasingly and significantly polarised and in which dialogue is undermined. The authors contend that citizenship does not obey a static definition, and that its meaning is located in changing economic, social and political contexts. Equally, civil, political and social rights are continually being politically defined. The war on terror has, the book argues, influenced issues of civil liberties and prioritised the need for ‘security’ over and above the protection of human rights: it has redefined the meaning of the rule of law.

Chapter 5: Citizenship, Globalisation and the Politics of the War on Terror

Maurice Mullard

Subjects: law - academic, human rights, politics and public policy, human rights, international politics, international relations, terrorism and security


Maurice Mullard INTRODUCTION Expectations of citizenship are at present being shaped and defined by the dual processes of globalisation and the war on terror. In the context of globalisation the nation state is perceived as passive, having to respond to offshore pressures and larger planetary forces which are beyond its control. Increases in income inequality reflect global markets. There is little that governments can do to reduce income inequalities since any attempts to improve wages might result in higher unemployment. The war on terror is equally explained as being a global war. The emphasis on fear, of the continued presence of an ‘enemy within’ of terrorists seeking weapons of mass destruction and chemical weapons provides the legitimacy for surveillance and policing which in turn leads to a chilling effect and quietism. This process narrows the spaces for dissent but also corrupts the democratic process as people stand in silence when the human rights of others are being violated in the name of security. Citizenship is not a static concept that can be captured within a definition. Expectations and hopes of citizenship are located in social, political, economic and cultural contexts. Civil, political and social rights that shape and define citizenship are equally not static. The boundaries between the state and individual civil liberties are contestable. It is with increased frequency that governments have made the exceptional case to redefine privacy, freedom of speech and freedom of assembly. During the First World War, President...

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