Constructing a right to counterterrorism: Law, politics and the Security Council

Vivek Bhatt

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademic


In the aftermath of 9/11, the United States and its allies declared war on international terrorism. It was claimed that the use of military force against terrorists and their supporters is necessary in order to defend ‘our’ democracy, freedom and human rights, which are supposedly jeopardized by terrorism. This chapter discusses the ways in which these states have harnessed the power of the UN Security Council – both through its meetings and decisions – in order to perpetuate the othering discourse driving the war on terror. Examining the Council’s work in the 1990s, following 9/11, and in response to the ‘foreign terrorist fighter’ phenomenon, the chapter argues that the language of human rights has, in fact, been co-opted in order to assert the existence of a collective right to be free from terrorism.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHuman Rights in Times of Transition
Subtitle of host publicationLiberal Democracies and Challenges of National Security
EditorsKasey McCall-Smith, Andrea Birdsall, Elisenda Casanas Adam
PublisherEdward Elgar Publishing
Number of pages27
ISBN (Print)9781789909883
Publication statusPublished - 2020


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