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Security and democratic equality

  • After a recent spate of terrorist attacks in European and American cities, liberal democracies are reintroducing emergency securitarian measures (ESMs) that curtail rights and/or expand police powers. Political theorists who study ESMs are familiar with how such measures become instruments of discrimination and abuse, but the fundamental conflict ESMs pose for not just civil liberty but also democratic equality still remains insufficiently explored. Such phenomena are usually explained as a function of public panic or fear-mongering in times of crisis, but I show that the tension between security and equality is in fact much deeper and more general. It follows a different logic than the more familiar tension between security and liberty, and it concerns not just the rule of law in protecting liberty but also the role of law in integrating new or previously subjected groups into a democratic community. As liberal-democratic societies become increasingly diverse and multicultural in the present era of mass immigration and global interconnectedness, this tension between security and equality is likely to become more pronounced.

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Author:Brian MilsteinORCiDGND
Parent Title (English):Contemporary political theory
Publisher:Palgrave Macmillan
Place of publication:Basingstoke
Document Type:Article
Date of Publication (online):2020/10/13
Date of first Publication:2020/10/13
Publishing Institution:Universit├Ątsbibliothek Johann Christian Senckenberg
Release Date:2023/10/13
Tag:democracy; emergency powers; equality; liberty; rights; security
Page Number:22
First Page:836
Last Page:857
Open Access funding enabled and organized by Projekt DEAL.
Dewey Decimal Classification:3 Sozialwissenschaften / 32 Politikwissenschaft / 320 Politikwissenschaft
Licence (German):License LogoCreative Commons - CC BY - Namensnennung 4.0 International