The spectacle of Ghost Security: The impact of security politics on British Civil Society

Skoczylis, Joshua and Andrews, Sam (2021) The spectacle of Ghost Security: The impact of security politics on British Civil Society. In: Counter-Terrorism and Civil Society: Post-9/11 Progress and Challenges. Manchester University Press, Manchester. ISBN 9781526157928

Counter-terrorism and civil society

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The UK faces many security challenges, including terrorism and organised crime. The standard response to each new security challenge has been more draconian security measures. These measures promise reassurance, but in fact, increase anxiety and damage democracy and civil society. ‘It is a deep irony that, by alerting citizens to risk and scattering the world with visible reminders of the threat of [security], it tends to increase subjective insecurity’ (Zedner 2003, p.163). Indeed, security is promoted as a universal good, but presumes social exclusion, due to the ever-growing demands for extra protection which leads to isolation. After each security breach, calls for more security can be heard. The doctrine of national security is characterised by its expansiveness and has a tendency to push security outwards ‘to encompass more and more geography and more and more problems’ (Neocleous 2000, p.10). Reiterations of UK security policy continue to chip away at our collective civil liberties and undermine tenants of democracy. This chapter argues that the UK government provides ghost security, which is illusionary and ever increasing but does little to keep society safe as it fails to deal with socio-economic and political problems which lead to breaches of security in the first place. UK security politics instead alienate and marginalise large parts of civil society and even create spaces where the very same behaviours and believes that lead to a breach in security can flourish.

Keywords:Civil Society, Counter-terrorism, extremism, Security
Subjects:L Social studies > L200 Politics
L Social studies > L231 Public Administration
L Social studies > L435 Security Policy
Divisions:College of Social Science > School of Social & Political Sciences
ID Code:34449
Deposited On:04 Dec 2018 16:13

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