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An Exploration Of The War On Terror: Representations, Risk, Legal and Government Strategies

Wednesday 20th February, 1pm - 3pm, S0.20 Social Studies Building



Chair: Professor Jacqueline Hodgson (School of Law, University of Warwick)


Professor Thomas Weigend (University of Cologne)
How terrorism has invaded German law


The threat of terrorism hit Germany in two waves, the first in the 1970s and 1980s, the second in the general context of 11 Sept., 2001. Both waves have led to extensive legislation in substantive and procedural criminal law. The 1970s saw the introduction of the new criminal offence of being a member of a terrorist organisation as well as ad hoc legislation cutting back on the rights of the defence. More recently, the powers of the State to use secret methods of surveillance in investigating crime have been extended with terrorism suspects being the main target. Additional measures are in the planning and drafting stages. The (perceived and real) threat of terorrism has thus significantly changed the climate of criminal justice in Germany.


Tony Bunyan (Statewatch)
The effect of the war on terrorism on civil liberties in the European Union


This talk will examine the nature of the terrorist threat posed after 11 September 2001, considering the claims that demands for security have been balanced by respect for rights and civil liberties and that this terrorism threatens to destroy "our way life" - by asking whose way of life? I will contend that there are at least two world views on what has happened and that the threat to "our way of life" comes more from the reactions of EU governments to the threat of terrorism than from this form of terrorism itself. These contentions will be examined with reference to the measures taken to tackle terrorism, the targeting and surveillance of migrant communities, the surveillance society and the policing state. The response to terrorism will be situated in the role of the emerging state and political culture in the EU.

Naomi Norberg (Collège de France)
Combatting terrorism or excluding foreigners


The Europe Union began tightening immigration controls well before the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in the United States: as the Schengen acquis made it easier to move about within the Union, the moat around “fortress Europe” grew deeper and wider as the 1990s wore on. But those attacks, and subsequent ones in Europe, catalyzed the passage of stricter immigration laws that, in many cases, implement harsh asylum policies as well. In an attempt to keep their citizens safe from terrorists, states are barring the door to foreigners and making it easier to deport those who’ve already made it inside. Antiterrorist measures are thus taking on an antiforeigner tinge that conflicts with states’ obligations under international human rights treaties and the Refugee Convention of 1951.

To reserve a place (and ensure sufficient refreshments!) please email