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Liberal Terror (PRIO New Security Studies) [Paperback]

Brad Evans
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Book Description

1 Feb 2013 PRIO New Security Studies
Security is meant to make the world safer. Yet despite living in the most secure of times, we see endangerment everywhere. Whether it is the threat of another devastating terrorist attacks, a natural disaster or unexpected catastrophe, anxieties and fears define the global political age. While liberal governments and security agencies have responded by advocating a new catastrophic topography of interconnected planetary endangerment, our desire to securitize everything has rendered all things potentially terrifying. This is the fateful paradox of contemporary liberal rule. The more we seek to secure, the more our imaginaries of threat proliferate. Nothing can therefore be left to chance. For everything has the potential to be truly catastrophic. Such is the emerging state of terror normality we find ourselves in today. This illuminating book by Brad Evans provides a critical evaluation of the wide ranging terrors which are deemed threatening to advanced liberal societies. Moving beyond the assumption that liberalism is integral to the realisation of perpetual peace, human progress, and political emancipation on a planetary scale, it exposes how liberal security regimes are shaped by a complex life–centric rationality which directly undermines any claims to universal justice and co–habitation. Through an incisive and philosophically enriched critique of the contemporary liberal practices of making life more secure, Evans forces us to confront the question of what it means to live politically as we navigate through the dangerous uncertainty of the 21st Century.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Polity Press; 1 edition (1 Feb 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0745665322
  • ISBN-13: 978-0745665320
  • Product Dimensions: 21.3 x 13.7 x 2.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 803,437 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

More About the Author

Brad Evans is a Senior Lecturer in International Studies. He is also founder/director of the histories of violence project. His co-directed movie "Ten Years of Terror" received international acclaim, screening in the Solomon K. Guggenheim museum, New York during September 2011. Brad has recently been a visiting fellow at the Committee on Global Thought at Columbia University, New York (2013-14). He is a listed contributor for the Guardian Newspaper's Comment is Free, and regularly writes for prominent news sources such as the Independent, Al Jazeera, TruthOut, Counter-Punch and Social Europe. His projects have been featured in various outlets including the New York Times, CBS news, El Pais, and Art Forum to name a few. Brad sits on the editorial boards for a number of reputable international academic journals in the fields of political philosophy. He also serves as a consultant on violence to a number of cultural organisations. He is currently a member of the Global Insecurities Centre (University of Bristol); serving board member for the Centre for Scholarship in the Public Interest (McMaster University, Ontario); founding member of the Society for the Study of Bio-Political Futures (Syracuse University, NY); and honorary associate of the Zygmunt Bauman Institute (The University of Leeds).

Product Description


"Makes an important macro–theoretical contribution to the micro–level ethnographies of security  conducted in geography." Antipode "In this brilliant book, Brad Evans offers a forceful, cogent, and eye–opening analysis of the complex forces shaping the new normal of terror and security, and provides the theoretical and political tools to challenge it. Liberal Terror should be required reading for everyone concerned about both the changing nature and fate of politics today." Henry Giroux, Professor of Global Media Networks, McMaster University "Liberal interventionism is driven by imaginaries of fear and uncertainty. With its desperate quest to control ungoverned space and eliminate autonomy in order to secure the global bio–sphere, this interventionism now engulfs us all. Brad Evans has written a superb and vital critique which is highly original and compelling. It demands our attention." Mark Duffield, University of Bristol "A tour de force. Page after page, the rhetorical motions of the text are disruptive, insightful and compelling. A counter–effectuation of the prevailing, neo–liberal political conceits in both academic and governmental spaces, its contributions to security analysis, critical methods, and political thinking in general will have lasting effects." Michael J. Shapiro, University of Hawaii, Manoa "This book is essential reading for anybody who wants to understand the 21st Century security terrain. It illustrates with sophisticated critical poise the ethical and political stakes of the contemporary attempts at securing planetary life. In doing so, the need to think beyond the failures of liberal humanism becomes altogether more urgent and pressing." Simon Critchley, New School for Social Research

About the Author

Brad Evans is senior lecturer in international relations at the University of Bristol.

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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A timely and important book 21 Feb 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Brad Evans' book is a distant narrative from the hegemonic positivist schools of thought which have permeated and suffocated a legion of academic institutions over the past thirty years. As a post-graduate of international relations and having been taught (at masters level) at a university which chastised the ability to think differently. This book is nothing less than an intellectual act of revolution - as important to political theory as political action!

Thinkers such as Foucault, Deleuze, Agamben and Bauman scream out of the pages which are often written in an Orwellian style. That is to say, clear with relevant passages which are often void of post-modern thinking in a variety of disciplines in my opinion. This makes the book an accessible and particularly important piece because it draws on the strengths of Continental philosophy whilst applying those insights to problems of the everyday.

The past ten years have witnessed the event of 9/11 and the financial crisis which have tested neoliberal dogma, and this book shines the 'divine' tendencies of this system for all to see.

For example, the author points out that (p.36) "It is most revealing to find that economic agencies are at the forefront of this security policy. During the 1990s organizations such as the World Bank increasingly became interested in security concerns as the focus of their work went from the managed recoveries of national crises to the active promotion of better lives''

And picks up on thinkers such as Subcom Marcos who argued that "the Fourth World War is destroying humanity as globalization is universalizing the market, and everything human which opposes the logic of the market is an enemy to be destroyed".
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