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NCJ Number: 203057 Find in a Library
Title: Absence of the Sacred: Democracy in the Age of Militarism
Journal: Journal of the Institute of Justice and International Studies  Issue:3  Dated:2003  Pages:28-37
Author(s): Tobias T. Gibson; Juan Gabriel Gomez-Albarello; Frances B. Henderson
Date Published: 2003
Page Count: 10
Type: Issue Overview
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article argues that recent curtailments in American constitutional freedoms following the terrorist attacks on the United States, coupled with increased military powers, have eroded democracy.
Abstract: The main argument of the article asserts that if individual rights are to be sacrificed for the protection of the greater good, the decision about which rights to curtail should be made within a deliberative setting through a deliberative process. However, it is argued that the military has effectively bypassed Congress with the justification that times of crisis require swift actions. As a result, the article contends that many of the fundamental tenets of democracy, such as the importance of the deliberation process and the right to trials, have been eroded with only the faintest public outcry. The writings of political theorists on the sacredness of individual liberties are used to bolster the argument put forth by the authors, especially communitarian and procedural theories of democracy. The article offers empirical support for the argument that the democratic deliberative process has been curtailed by the loss of civilian control over the military. Evidence is offered that the military has used several means to limit the ability and the effectiveness of Congress to deliberate on individual rights following the 2001 terrorist attacks. In closing, the authors assert that as a result of the military’s effort to erode the deliberative process, the ability of the people to govern themselves has been severely undermined. Footnotes
Main Term(s): Constitutional Rights/Civil Liberties
Index Term(s): Human rights violations; Right to fair trial; Rights of the accused; Terrorism/Mass Violence
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