Counter-Terror by Proxy (Manchester University Press)
One of the key foundation of the Modern liberal democratic State is the requirement that government safeguards the security of its citizens by enacting and enforcing laws which are designed to protect their interests. In the name of security however, this political obligation has been largely undermined by a common yet utlimately dangerous set of claims: necessity knows no law and hence, one must fight fire with fire. Operations beyond legal boundaries have been very often legitimised by sweeping claims about global dangers and the necessity to derogate from the rule of law. Many analysts have recently presented compelling arguments for rediscovering the notion of state terrorism in the analysis of supposedly Western liberal states. In this monograph for Manchester University Press, I accept many of the insights bequeathed by these excellent studies. However, I intend to expand their focus and also amend their conclusions by bringing notions of camouflage, deception and proxy.
Writing Security (Routledge)
A co-edited book project with Stephan Davidshofer (University of Geneva)
In many ways security studies claim to provide a true content (which pertains to verifiability) but also in the form of a narration. This co-edited book is guided by a similar understanding of what security is and aims at closing the gap between the various techniques and methodological bricolages employed when security studies is building narratives on what security is, what security does. This edited volume is built around their authors’ experiences on the ground, their intellectual approaches, the data-analysis tools employed, and the theoretical techniques and apparatus deployed then re-negotiated according to the progress made and difficulties encountered. Following Bourdieu’s argument about science, we refuse to dissociate method from the very practical dimensions of any operation of research. We cannot emphasise enough that this is a book not about methods. Yet how you choose to look for things depends heavily on what you think you are looking for. Hence, many of the arguments explored here have substantial methodological implications.
The Feinstein Report (Routledge)
The Feinstein Report is a sweeping indictment of not only the brutal practices deployed but also of the poor value of intelligence gleaned from these different exercises in torture. The 525-page executive summary of the Feinstein report reveals the brutal, systematic and sanctioned nature of this programme of extraordinary rendition and detention and provides graphic examples of the inefficiency of torture. On paper, one could say that the numerous lawyers and activists who have been advocating a strict prohibition of torture have won, but certainly not in a decisive and definitive manner. The release of the Feinstein report might be seen by some as a triumph, but any victory may prove to be Pyrrhic. A once prominent but now almost forgotten report against torture has been taken over by normalisation of torture where the justifications once deployed alongside the CIA-led extraordinary rendition and detention programme are still very much present and prevalent.