The Challenges of Democracy in the War on Terror: The Liberal State before the Advance of Terrorism, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

The Challenges of Democracy in the War on Terror

The Liberal State before the Advance of Terrorism, 1st Edition

By Maximiliano E. Korstanje


150 pages

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Hardback: 9781138609327
pub: 2018-08-16
eBook (VitalSource) : 9780429466182
pub: 2018-09-03
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This book unravels the role of democracy after the 9/11 terrorist attacks and reflects important debates surrounding the security of Muslim communities in the years to come. It looks at the problems of torture, violence and the legal resources available to contemporary democracies to confront terrorism.

While terrorism is often regarded as one of the major threats to the West and the nation-state, this book explores the notion that a disciplined sense of terror is what keeps society working. The strengths and limitations of liberalism are examined, as well as the ethical dilemma of torture and human right violations in the struggle against terrorism. This book carefully dissects the origin of the nation-state and how it keeps society united.

The author offers a creative and unique approach to democracy and worldwide terrorism, exploring the consequences for the nation-state. This book looks at the connections between terrorism, mobility, consumption, torture and fear. It will be of interest to researchers as well as postgraduate and postdoctoral students within the fields of Human Geography, Politics, Media and International Relations.


"This book clarifies the historical context of the crisis in democracy that fueled Donald Trump’s election in 2016, which was nurtured by entertaining mass media and political corporations promoting the discourse of fear and the doctrine of sovereignty and security. Professor Korstanje’s provocative introduction examines how the ideological core of the liberal state hides "the invisible hand of exploitation." Despite losing the popular vote, Trump’s election underscores how the liberal state is complicit in trampling citizens’ rights in the face of inequality while applauding the spectacle of terrorism, violating immigrants’ rights, and international treaties, even as the stock market soars and the number of homeless people increase. Surely this was not intended by the Enlightenment philosophers, who had not envisioned how the democratic state would renege on is responsibility to citizens’ rights. This fine collection casts a dim light on what could have been the hope of the world." — David Altheide, Arizona State University, USA

" The Challenges of Democracy in the War on Terror: The liberal state before the advance of terrorism is a liminal passage where Maximiliano Korstanje discusses the interplay of Fear and Thanatos. These crossing epistemological borders lead to questioning the role of the liberal state, its abuses as well as the indifference of lay-citizens for hospitality. In fact, he dissects the roots of liberal state juxtaposing the rise of terror as a necessary consequence of the decline of democracy. In a nutshell, Korstanje shows once again in this book why he is one of the most-recognized writers in the field of terrorism and tourism." — Adrian Scribano, University of Buenos Aires, Argentina

"The present book offers a cogent and trenchant, analysis, and critique of global capitalism. Its argument starts by examining bourgeois democracy in the twenty-first century. It correctly points out that contemporary democracy is a sham. Despite its many exclusions, slaves, women, children, etc.; ancient democracies like the Athenian, actually depended on popular rule. Today’s fake democracies barely make the effort at appearances. As capital has by now penetrated all four corners of the earth, the worst of primitive accumulation and exploitation join hands on a global scale. Raw force in the form of drones, mercenary armies, and massive arms concentrations ensure that extractive capital partners with high tech psycho-social manipulations to produce a compliant, complicit work force and consumerist public. This book puts these current conditions to the question, and finds our world wanting. The book is a must read for anyone who cares about life in today’s world." — Geoffrey R Skoll, Buffalo State College, USA

"Korstanje´s book places the concept of liberal democracy under the critical lens of scrutiny. In his work, he carefully reviews not only the role of fear and terrorism in the configuration of postmodern politics but shows a great sensibility respecting the current obsession of global audiences in gazing the Other´s death." — Freddy Timmermann, University Silva Henriquez, Chile

"I have come across several books on the challenges of democracy as well as the war on terror. What makes this book different is the perspective taken by the author in exploring this highly relevant and pertinent issue. The author has identified and critically examined key questions on the rise and advance of terrorism, torture, and human rights violations across various countries in the World. The authors also address several interesting issues, including why terrorists target tourism as well as the extent to which torture can be treated as acceptable. The author has explored these topics without any bias and has given a neutral perspective leaving the readers to come to their own conclusions." — Dr. Narasimha Rao Vajjhala, Chair Computer Science and Software Engineering. American University of Nigeria

"Korstanje interrogates modern democracy and its apparent values, and applies these to current terrorism and counter-terrorism strategies and techniques. Limitations in contemporary liberal democracy may result in reducing the effectiveness in counter-terrorism and aid in fuelling the fire. Just as importantly, the role of technology in creating a spectacle of fear through its ability to export ideologies globally in investigated. The book is an important work in rethinking the relationship between ‘accepted’ democratic methods and terrorism." — Brett van Niekerk, Co-Editor-in-Chief, International Journal of Cyber Warfare and Terrorism.

"Korstanje’s writing has followed a fascinating trajectory over the years. He began as an expert on tourism, and soon was publishing widely on security, terrorism and counter-terrorism, and the experiences of global movement. It seems natural that his attentions would soon turn to bigger issues. Korstanje’s book takes a critical view of the nature of democracy, its relationship with discourses of security, terrorism and violence, and where our vigilance must be directed to prevent the democratic institutions of our times from evolving into something else. Intense and fearless, Korstanje’s account cannot be ignored." — Dr. Luke Howie, Deputy Director, Global Terrorism Research Centre GTReC, Monash University, USA

Table of Contents

Introduction 1. The Liberal State2. Neoliberalism, Consumption and Poverty3. The Rise of Terror in the Society of the Spectacle4. Is Torture Enough?5. The Dark Side of Technologies: The Industry of Fear and the Spocalypse6. Terrorism, Tourism and Hospitality: Dying in New York City7. The Democracy and its Faces: The Problem of Islamophobia

About the Author

Maximiliano E. Korstanje is Senior Researcher in the Department of Economics at University of Palermo, Argentina. He was awarded Visiting Research Fellow at the School of Sociology and Social Policy at the University of Leeds, UK, and at the University of Havana, Cuba. He was recently awarded Emeritus Chief Editor of the Journal of Cyber Warfare and Terrorism. His recent books include The Rise of Thana-Capitalism and Tourism (2016), Terrorism, Tourism and the End of Hospitality in the West (2017), and Mobilities Paradox: A Critical Analysis (2017).

About the Series

Routledge Research in Place, Space and Politics

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SCIENCE / Earth Sciences / Geography
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Human Geography