Terrorism and the Risk Society
Posted: 13 Feb 2002
The threat of terrorism has exploded on to the North American stage. The rush to respond to this threat resembles what might be the response to catastrophic environmental disaster. These linkages are pursued by comparing the Canadian response in Bill C-36 to the symptoms described by Ulrich Beck in his book Risk Society. As in Beck's risk society, the threat of terrorism both reinforces existing class patterns and generates feelings of transnational solidarity. The state's legal response relies heavily on professional expertise at the expense of democratic deliberation, while legislation, poorly drafted and rushed into passage, overreaches its target at the expense of valued rights and freedoms. While Beck reminds us to resist some of these tendencies, Bill - C36 corresponds to these typical patterns of state behavior.
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