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State Terrorism and Neoliberalism: The North in the South

April 3, 2009 No Comment

By Ruth Blakeley, 3 April 2009

This book explores the complicity of democratic states from the global North in state terrorism in the global South. It evaluates the relationship between the use of state terrorism by Northern liberal democracies and efforts by those states to further incorporate the South into the global political economy and to entrench neoliberalism.

Most scholarship on terrorism tends to ignore state terrorism by Northern democracies, focusing instead on terrorist threats to Northern interests from illiberal actors. The book accounts for the absence of Northern state terrorism from terrorism studies, and provides a detailed conceptualisation of state terrorism in relation to other forms of state violence. The book explores state terrorism as used by European and early American imperialists to secure territory, to coerce slave and forced wage labour, and to defeat national liberation movements during the process of decolonisation. It examines the use of state terrorism by the US throughout the Cold War to defeat political movements that would threaten US elite interests. Finally, it assesses the practices of Northern liberal democratic states in the ‘War on Terror’ and shows that many Northern liberal democracies have been active in state terrorism, including through extraordinary rendition.

This book will be of much interest to students of critical terrorism studies, security studies, South American politics, US foreign policy and IR in general.

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