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Brutality in an Age of Human RightsActivism and Counterinsurgency at the End of the British Empire$
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Brian Drohan

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781501714658

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: September 2018

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9781501714658.001.0001

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From the Colonial to the Contemporary

From the Colonial to the Contemporary

(p.187) Conclusion From the Colonial to the Contemporary
Brutality in an Age of Human Rights

Brian Drohan

Cornell University Press

The conclusion begins by surveying the legacies of human rights activism during the Northern Ireland Troubles and reviews the book’s arguments regarding the Cyprus and Aden emergencies. Next, this section asserts that the consistent pattern of thwarting activism and the frequent circulation of officials from one campaign to the next suggests that, like torture, the ability to hide abuses from public scrutiny emerged as a key, but unspoken, element of British counterinsurgency during the era of decolonization. Finally, the conclusion addresses the contemporary relationship between counterinsurgency warfare and human rights—including the influence of the UK Human Rights Act and the importance of strategic narratives—during conflicts associated with the post-9/11 “war on terror” in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Keywords:   decolonization, public scrutiny, post-9/11, war on terror, Iraq, Afghanistan, Human Rights Act, strategic narrative

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