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 8: The Politics of Globalisation and the War on Terror

Simon Lee

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

Extract

Simon Lee INTRODUCTION The politics of globalisation constitutes an ideological battleground. To understand the contemporary war on terror, and the debates that continue to wage about its legitimacy and efficacy, it needs to be placed in context. Building upon Colin Tyler’s analysis of citizenship and rights in the previous chapter (Chapter 7), this chapter shows how globalisation has been used as a weapon to justify and legitimise domestic and foreign policy choices which have had major implications for citizenship and communities, both at home and internationally. For example, John Reid, the former Home Secretary in the Blair government, claimed that the terrorist threat posed by the new breed of ‘unconstrained’ and ‘fascist individuals’ meant that ‘We are probably in the most sustained period of severe threat since the end of World War Two’ (Reid, 2006). Reid’s thesis was that the international problems now confronting the United Kingdom, not least porous borders, failed states, civil wars and ethnic tensions were part of a chain reaction set off by the end of the Cold War that had made the world a very dangerous place. Against this context, the chapter will illustrate how a moral crusade both to establish liberal democracy as a universal blueprint for governance and individual freedom, and to build political institutions appropriate for an AngloAmerican model of global capitalism, has permeated the politics of globalisation since its genesis in the demise of the post-1945 Bretton Woods system of fixed exchange rates and capital controls. The chapter explores di...

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