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Accountability and Review in the Counter-Terrorist State$
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Jessie Blackbourn, Fiona de Londras, and Lydia Morgan

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781529206234

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: September 2020

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781529206234.001.0001

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Conclusion: Accountability and Review in the Counter-Terrorist State

Conclusion: Accountability and Review in the Counter-Terrorist State

(p.161) Conclusion: Accountability and Review in the Counter-Terrorist State
Accountability and Review in the Counter-Terrorist State

Jessie Blackbourn

Fiona de Londras

Lydia Morgan

Policy Press

This concluding chapter argues that, notwithstanding the successes of counter-terrorism review, the counter-terrorist state is not characterised by a commitment to meaningful accountability through evaluative counter-terrorism review. It argues that meaningful accountability requires a commitment to evaluation, to the diversification of evidence, to hearing and recognising the importance of communities’ experiences of the unintended social and security impacts of counter-terrorism, and to the possibility of change. These commitments are not yet in evidence, and without them the chapter argues the counter-terrorist state struggles to establish liberal democratic legitimacy. Such a shift would require the state to recognise that counter-terrorism is now an ordinary state of affairs and that, as a result, the state can no longer appeal to ‘the exception’ in the attempt to exempt itself from our ordinary constitutional expectations when taking steps to combat terrorism. Instead, the conclusion argues, it must inculcate a culture of justification in counter-terrorism that is based not only on bare claims of necessity, but on arguments of legitimacy, legality, long- and short-term effectiveness, rights-respectfulness, and openness to challenge.

Keywords:   Accountability, Meaningful accountability, Counter-terrorism, Legitimacy, Counter terrorist state, Counter terrorism review

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