Search results for: torture-and-democracy

Torture and Democracy

Author : Darius Rejali
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This is the most comprehensive, and most comprehensively chilling, study of modern torture yet written. Darius Rejali, one of the world's leading experts on torture, takes the reader from the late nineteenth century to the aftermath of Abu Ghraib, from slavery and the electric chair to electrotorture in American inner cities, and from French and British colonial prison cells and the Spanish-American War to the fields of Vietnam, the wars of the Middle East, and the new democracies of Latin America and Europe. As Rejali traces the development and application of one torture technique after another in these settings, he reaches startling conclusions. As the twentieth century progressed, he argues, democracies not only tortured, but set the international pace for torture. Dictatorships may have tortured more, and more indiscriminately, but the United States, Britain, and France pioneered and exported techniques that have become the lingua franca of modern torture: methods that leave no marks. Under the watchful eyes of reporters and human rights activists, low-level authorities in the world's oldest democracies were the first to learn that to scar a victim was to advertise iniquity and invite scandal. Long before the CIA even existed, police and soldiers turned instead to "clean" techniques, such as torture by electricity, ice, water, noise, drugs, and stress positions. As democracy and human rights spread after World War II, so too did these methods. Rejali makes this troubling case in fluid, arresting prose and on the basis of unprecedented research--conducted in multiple languages and on several continents--begun years before most of us had ever heard of Osama bin Laden or Abu Ghraib. The author of a major study of Iranian torture, Rejali also tackles the controversial question of whether torture really works, answering the new apologists for torture point by point. A brave and disturbing book, this is the benchmark against which all future studies of modern torture will be measured.


Author : Shampa Biswas
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The counterterrorism policies following September 11, 2001, brought the definition and legitimacy of torture to the forefront of political, military, and public debates. This timely volume explores the question of torture through multiple lenses by situating it within systems of belief, social networks of power, and ideological worldviews. Individual essays examine the boundaries of what is deemed legitimate political violence for the sake of state security, the immediate and long-term effects of torture on human and social bodies, the visual and artistic representations of torture, how certain people are dehumanized to make it acceptable to torture them, and how we understand complicity in and the ethical boundaries of torture.

Abolition Democracy

Author : Angela Y. Davis
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Revelations about U.S policies and practices of torture and abuse have captured headlines ever since the breaking of the Abu Ghraib prison story in April 2004. Since then, a debate has raged regarding what is and what is not acceptable behavior for the world’s leading democracy. It is within this context that Angela Davis, one of America’s most remarkable political figures, gave a series of interviews to discuss resistance and law, institutional sexual coercion, politics and prison. Davis talks about her own incarceration, as well as her experiences as "enemy of the state," and about having been put on the FBI’s "most wanted" list. She talks about the crucial role that international activism played in her case and the case of many other political prisoners. Throughout these interviews, Davis returns to her critique of a democracy that has been compromised by its racist origins and institutions. Discussing the most recent disclosures about the disavowed "chain of command," and the formal reports by the Red Cross and Human Rights Watch denouncing U.S. violation of human rights and the laws of war in Guantánamo, Afghanistan and Iraq, Davis focuses on the underpinnings of prison regimes in the United States.

Torture Cancer of Democracy France and Algeria 1954 62

Author : Pierre Vidal-Naquet
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The East African Journal of Human Rights and Democracy

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Understanding Torture

Author : John T. Parry
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Legal prohibitions against torture cannot prevent state violence

Education for Human Rights and Democracy

Author : Indian Institute of Advanced Study
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Papers presented at a Workshop on "Education for Human Rights and Democracy".

Human Rights Religion and Democracy

Author : John R. Rowan
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Burma Dhamma and Democracy

Author : M. V. Pradhan
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General history of Burma; includes a chapter on the 1988 struggle for democracy.

Remembering Trauma in a Time of War

Author : Tamara Lea Spira
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Development And Democracy In The Third World

Author : Abbas Pourgerami
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In this original study, Abbas Pourgerami provides a comprehensive analysis of economic development and its relationship to political democracy. Evaluating statistical associations among social, economic, and political performance variables of 104 Third World countries, Pourgerami determines the prospects for democracy in the developing world. He demonstrates that economic well-being and political liberty are mutually reinforcing processes, challenging the traditional notion that economic progress necessitates sacrifices to democratic government.

Between Authoritarianism and Democracy

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Torture and Truth

Author : Mark Danner
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Includes the torture photographs in color and the full texts of the secret administration memos on torture and the investigative reports on the abuses at Abu Ghraib. In the spring of 2004, graphic photographs of Iraqi prisoners being tortured by American soldiers in Baghdad's Abu Ghraib prison flashed around the world, provoking outraged debate. Did they depict the rogue behavior of "a few bad apples"? Or did they in fact reveal that the US government had decided to use brutal tactics in the "war on terror"? The images are shocking, but they do not tell the whole story. The abuses at Abu Ghraib were not isolated incidents but the result of a chain of deliberate decisions and failures of command. To understand how "Hooded Man" and "Leashed Man" could have happened, Mark Danner turns to the documents that are collected for the first time in this book. These documents include secret government memos, some never before published, that portray a fierce argument within the Bush administration over whether al-Qaeda and Taliban prisoners were protected by the Geneva Conventions and how far the US could go in interrogating them. There are also official reports on abuses at Abu Ghraib by the International Committee of the Red Cross, by US Army investigators, and by an independent panel chaired by former defense secretary James R. Schlesinger. In sifting this evidence, Danner traces the path by which harsh methods of interrogation approved for suspected terrorists in Afghanistan and Guant‡namo "migrated" to Iraq as resistance to the US occupation grew and US casualties mounted. Yet as Mark Danner writes, the real scandal here is political: it "is not about revelation or disclosure but about the failure, once wrongdoing is disclosed, of politicians, officials, the press, and, ultimately, citizens to act." For once we know the story the photos and documents tell, we are left with the questions they pose for our democratic society: Does fighting a "new kind of war" on terror justify torture? Who will we hold responsible for deciding to pursue such a policy, and what will be the moral and political costs to the country?

International Socialist Review

Author :
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The Prison of Democracy

Author : Sara M. Benson
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Author : Bev Clucas
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Not so long ago, the only respectable question for philosophical, legal, and political scholars to ask about torture was how to ensure its effective legal prohibition. Recently, however, some leading lawyers and legal theorists have challenged those who are absolutely opposed to torture, arguing that, in some circumstances, torture may be morally permissible or even required. This has provoked a range of responses, from outraged dismissal to cautious concessions that the law has to adjust to new realities. This volume contains writings by some of the leading contributors to these debates. Distinctively, it supplements the discussion about the morality of torture â?? and the morality of discussing torture â?? with essays which provide important legal, sociological, and historical analyses of this appalling human practice and of the attempts to control it. With an international and interdisciplinary authorship, Torture: Moral Absolutes and Ambiguities will be essential reading for legal and political theorists, philosophers, sociologists, historians, and indeed anybody interested in serious and informed thinking about this most disturbing phenomenon.

Feminist Agendas and Democracy in Latin America

Author : Jane S. Jaquette
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A timely collection examining how womens movements in Latin America have responded to the dramatic political, economic, and social changes of the last twenty years.

Torture and the United Nations

Author : Amrita Mukherjee
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Torture and the United Nations: Charter and Treaty Based Monitoring provides an up-to-date and critical evaluation of the achievements and shortcomings of the United Nations monitoring framework for prohibition of torture. The analysis is highly topical in view of recent and proposed restructuring of the UN human rights bodies and the debate surrounding the prohibition of torture. Amrita Mukherjee examines the functions, procedures, and performance of the more specialised bodies monitoring the implementation of the prohibition of torture. The work of the Human Rights Committee, the Committee against Torture and the Special Rapporteur on the question of torture which together form the core of UN Charter and Treaty Based Monitoring is examined extensively.In order to assess the impact of the monitoring system, the second part of the book looks at the contrasting experiences of the United Kingdom and India both of which have participated in the development of international human rights policy. A number of issues are examined in this context: the role and status of the public institutions that incorporate human rights standards; the anti-terrorism legislation and administration employed to respond to the increased security risks since September 11th, 2001; the preventative safeguards in place and how they have operated in practice and also the treatment of prisoners and conditions in places of detention. The aim is to further understanding as to how two States have responded to the spheres of influence of the UN human rights bodies under the special procedures and treaties and applied them to their legal and administrative systems.

Repression Exile and Democracy

Author : Professor of Latin American Literature and Culture Saul Sosnowski
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"Most of the essays in this book were originally presented at a 1986 conference on Uruguay; however, several of the chapters were updated immediately prior to publication. Overall, work serves as excellent document on prevailing cultural perspectives in initial years of the return to democracy. Several articles provide a stimulating perspective on dictatorship and democracy"--Handbook of Latin American Studies, v. 57.

Turkey Torture and Political Persecution

Author : Jane Cousins
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