The Lesser Evil: Political Ethics in an Age of Terror

Edinburgh University Press (2004)
Must we fight terrorism with terror and torture with torture? Must we sacrifice civil liberty to protect public safety?In the age of terrorism Michael Ignatieff argues that we must not shrink from the use of violence. But its use - in a liberal democracy - must be measured. And we must not fool ourselves that whatever we do in the name of freedom and democracy is good. We may need to kill to fight the greater evil of terrorism, but we must never pretend that doing so is anything better than a lesser evil.In making this case, Ignatieff traces the modern history of terrorism and counter-terrorism, from the nihilists of Czarist Russia and the militias of Weimar Germany to the IRA and the unprecedented menace of Al Qaeda. He shows how the most potent response to terror has been force, decisive and direct, yet restrained. The public scrutiny and political ethics that motivate restraint also give democracy its strongest weapon: the moral power to endure when vengeance and hatred are spent
Keywords Political ethics  Terrorism  International relations Moral and ethical aspects
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Call number JA79.I36 2005
ISBN(s) 0748622241   0691123934
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Tracey Nicholls (2010). Crossing Into Lawlessness. Environment, Space, Place 2 (1):17-34.
Christopher J. Finlay (2011). Dirty Hands and the Romance of the Ticking Bomb Terrorist: A Humean Account. Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy 14 (4):421-442.

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