Threats to Western Democracy
This book concludes by analyzing the actual effects of the trade-off between civil rights and public security. It first examines two arguments used to justify the current securitization of immigration policies on both sides of the Atlantic. The first focuses on the notion of the “lesser evil”—policies justified by the nature and the extent of the threat are still less evil than those taken by the enemies of democracy. The second argument is that emergency security measures take effect temporarily, only in times of crisis, and therefore normal legal processes will be restored in peacetime. Western democracies have relied on these arguments since 9/11 to justify policies that have diminished individual civil liberties, limited basic rights and freedoms, and strengthened executive power. This book discusses the collateral damages caused by securitization of immigration to vulnerable populations, the link between security and liberty, and the “state of exception,” along with their implications for public safety, public discourse, and the future of democracy in America and Europe.
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