This edited volume seeks to contest prevailing assumptions about torture and to consider why, despite its illegality, torture continues to be widely employed and misrepresented.
The resurgence of torture and public justifications of it led to the central questions that this inter-disciplinary volume seeks to address: How is it possible for torture to be practiced when it is legally prohibited? What kinds of moves do agents make that render torture palatable? Why do so many ignore the evidence that torture is ineffective as an intelligence-gathering technique? Who are the victims of torture? The various contributors in the book look to history, the practices of interrogators, artistic representations, documentary films, rendition policies, political campaigns, diplomatic discourses, international legal rules, refugee practices, and cultural representations of death and the body to illuminate how torture becomes permissible. Building from the personal to the communal, and from the practical to the conceptual, the volume reflects the multivalence of torture itself. This framework enables readers at all levels better appreciate how and why torture is open to so many interpretations and applications.
This book will be of much interest to students of International Relations, Security Studies, Terrorism Studies, Ethics, and International Legal Studies.
Introduction: Contesting Torture: Continuing Debates, Questions and Reflections
Rory Cox, Faye Donnelly, and Anthony F Lang, Jr
Part I: Competing Narratives of Torture
1. Why Perpetrators Matter
Jonathan Luke Austin
2. Torturing the New Barbarians
3. Fantasy, Transgression and US Support for Torture: A Micropolitical Study
Brent J Steele
4. Death and Torture: Contesting Narratives and Sites of Resistance
Faye Donnelly and Fabian Wolke
Part II: Imaging and Seeing Torture
5. Social Imaginaries of Truth: Zero Dark Thirty and The Report
Juha A. Vuori
6. Framing Torture on Screen: Negotiating the Unwatchable
7. Facing Torture through Art and the Afterlives of War: Behind the Mask
Part III: Contesting Torture in Law
8. Diplomatic Assurances and Re-writing the ‘Rules of the Game’
9. Contesting the Meaning, Permissibility and Use of Torture: Enhanced Interrogation Methods and the Norm against Torture
10. Labelling, Torture and Law Enforcement in Zimbabwe
Patrick Tom and Silas Chekera
Part IV: Torture and Institutions
11. Reserving the Right to Torture
Ruth Blakeley and Sam Raphael
12. Torture in a Land of Safety: Slow Violence and Immigration Control in the UK
13. Liberalism, Torture and Global Constitutionalism
Anthony F Lang, Jr.
Afterword: Cynthia Enloe