Completed Research - Human Rights and Counter-terrorism in Global Governance: Reputation and Resistance
Principal Investigator: Professor Rosemary Foot
Project Summary: The objective of this project is to test the robustness of the human rights norm in a counter-terrorist era. Empirically, it focuses on the intersection of counter-terrorist and human rights concerns (more precisely, the rights to personal security) in a selected range of states, as well as in regional and global institutions. The project is funded by the British Academy (Asia-Pacific Dimension).
This research project examines the extent to which human rights protections have been undermined in the current anti-terrorist era. Has it been concluded that human rights protections cannot coexist easily with anti-terrorist campaigns, or is there a recognition that they are complementary to them? How and in which venues are certain political actors attempting to counter the argument that there has to be a trade-off between security and human rights? The study is also designed to investigate whether one of the most valued reputations in world politics – that is, a willingness to protect individuals, wherever they may be located, from human rights abuses - has been displaced by one which demonstrates a capacity to protect one’s own state and its citizens from terrorist violence. Are these reputations in conflict, or are they being brought together in ways which demonstrate that, while anti-terrorism has shaped many aspects of the security agenda, it cannot usurp an earlier concern with human rights?
The research project has a bearing on some of the larger theoretical debates in International Relations concerning the determination of outcomes in world politics. Should we accord primacy in our explanations to the international systemic change brought into being by the attacks of 11th September 2001, or should we pay attention to the domestic sources of state preferences such as state identity or the mimetic, behaviour of states? To what extent can we sustain a further, alternative, argument that normative socialization has resulted in the human rights idea becoming so embedded in global society, and in domestic and international institutions, that it has contributed to a wider understanding among a broad range of actors of what constitutes domestic and international political legitimacy and what determines national and global security? Asia-Pacific Dimension: This part of the project has two main goals: first, to examine the extent to which the security agendas of key regional states in Southeast Asia that are central to the anti-terrorist struggle (Indonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore), and the three major institutions of the region (APEC, ASEAN and the ASEAN Regional Forum) have been re-shaped by the counter-terrorist concerns articulated since September 2001; and secondly to explore the capacity of the human rights norm to constrain some forms of counter-terrorist state and institutional behaviour in this era and in a part of the world where a number of governments remain wary of the human rights idea.
Publications by Professor Rosemary Foot associated with the project:
- Framing Security Agendas: U.S. Counter-Terrorist Policies and Southeast Asian Responses, Policy Studies 49, East West Center, Washington DC 2008
- "Exceptionalism Again: the Bush Administration, the 'Global War on Terror' and Human Rights", Law and History Review, 26:3, 2008.
- "The United Nations, Counter-Terrorism and Human Rights: Institutional Adaptation and Embedded Ideas", Human Rights Quarterly, May 2007
- "Human Rights in Conflict", Survival, Autumn 2006
- “Torture: the struggle over a peremptory norm in a counter-terrorist era”, ( E.H. Carr Memorial Lecture, University of Wales at Aberystwyth, October 2005) published in International Relations vol. 20 no. 2, June 2006
- “Human Rights and Counter-terrorism in Global Governance: Reputation and Resistance” Global Governance, vol. 11, no. 3, Summer 2005
- “Collateral Damage: human rights consequences of counterterrorist action in the Asia-Pacific”, International Affairs, vol. 81, no. 2, March 2005