Sacred Cows and The Changing Face of Discourse on Terrorism: Cranking it Up a Notch

Newman, Saul and Levine, Michael. 2006. Sacred Cows and The Changing Face of Discourse on Terrorism: Cranking it Up a Notch. International Journal of Human Rights, 10(4), pp. 359-371. ISSN 1364-2987 [Article]

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Ethicists working in either ‘just war’ and/or ‘human rights’ traditions continue to be embroiled with the definition of terrorism and the question of whether terrorism can ever be morally justified; obsessed with non-combatant immunity and criteria for distinguishing combatants from non-combatants; and examining ‘the doctrine of double effect’. The move to other issues has, however, been embraced by those who initiated it since 9/11, those with new ideas and analyses that draw from many disciplines. We will discuss why philosophical/political discussion about terrorism has taken a turn away from questions like ‘can terrorism can be morally justified’ and efforts to define terrorism. Discourse on terrorism, much of it extra-philosophical, has taken a turn for the better. It is increasingly concerned with issues about the nature of terrorism rather than its definition; the nature of the discourse itself about terrorism, and what this tells us about terrorism; and the causes of terrorism – the examination of which is subverted by the discourse on terrorism.

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Date Deposited:

11 Aug 2015 13:59

Last Modified:

30 Jun 2017 12:21

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Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.


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