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1 GlobCon 278 (2012)
The Dark Side of Normative Argumentation - The Case of Counterterrorism Policy

handle is hein.journals/globc1 and id is 301 raw text is: 



Global Constitutionalism (2012), 1:2, 278-312 0 Cambridge University Press, 2012
doi:10.1017/S2045381711000049





The 'dark' side of normative argumentation -

The case of counterterrorism policy


REGINA HELLER, MARTIN KAHL and DANIELA PISOIU
Institute for Peace Research and Security Policy at the University of Hamburg (IFSH), Germany

Email: heller@ifsh.de; kahl@ifsh.de; pisoiu@ifsh.de

   Abstract: After 9/11 state actors in different parts of the world and to various
   degrees decided to give security and counterterrorism measures priority over
   human rights and fundamental freedoms. In order to legitimize their policy choices,
   governmental actors used normative argumentation to redefine what is 'appropriate'
   to ensure security. We argue that, in the long run, this may lead to a setback
   dynamic hollowing out established human and civil rights norms. In this article,
   we develop a theoretical and analytical framework, oriented along the model of
   the life cycle of norms, in order to trace 'bad' norm dynamics in the field of
   counterterrorism. We conceptualize the norm erosion process, particularly focusing
   on arguments such as speech acts put forward by governmental norm challengers
   and their attempts to create new meaning and understanding. We also draw on
   convergence theory and argue that when a coalition of norm challengers develops,
   using the same or similar patterns of arguments, established international normative
   orders protecting human rights and civil liberties might be weakened over time
   and a more fundamental process of norm erosion may take place.


   Keywords:  normative  argumentation; counterterrorism; human  rights;
   norm  erosion; argumentative convergence


Introduction

As a result of the terrorist attacks in New York and Washington in September
2001  many  governments   around the world  developed new  counterterrorism
strategies and  policies to address  the new  threat of so-called  'jihadist'
terrorism. They  introduced  numerous  measures,  with  and without  a given
suspicion,' inducing  a significant modification or reduction of established
constraints to political (executive) action. With respect to counterterrorist
measures  without suspicion, in the USA and Europe,  for example, provisions
on the protection of privacy were loosened in order to simplify home searches.


   I Measures applied with suspicion are directed at alleged criminals only, while measures
without suspicion affect all citizens.

278

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