Fighting Terror with Law? Some Other Genealogies of Pre-emption


Within criminology and criminal law the reception of post-9/11 counter-terrorist law has generally been critical, if not hostile. The undeniable proliferation of preventive statutes has been regarded as incompatible with conventional liberal norms and as dangerously innovative in its embrace of new strategies of control. But is such law innovative, and does it threaten to leach into other areas of criminal law, as some have feared? Exploring three governmental innovations – mental health law, habitual criminal controls, and civilian internment in war-time – that developed as expressions of the liberal state’s desire to ensure the safety of its citizens in times of peace and war, we argue that a more historically grounded understanding of the governmental and geopolitical contexts of security provides a surer foundation on which to construct the frameworks of interpretation of contemporary counter-terrorism law.
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Published: 2013-04-30
Pages:3 to 17
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How to Cite
Finnane, M. J. C. and Donkin, S. (2013) “Fighting Terror with Law? Some Other Genealogies of Pre-emption”, International Journal for Crime, Justice and Social Democracy, 2(1), pp. 3-17. doi: 10.5204/ijcjsd.v2i1.85.

Author Biographies

Griffith University

Professor of History and ARC Australian Professorial Fellow

ARC Centre of Excellence in Policing and Security

Griffith University

He was Director of CEPS in 2009. He was a Member of the ARC College of Experts (2008-10). He is an elected Fellow of the Australian Academy of Humanities (since 2001) and has served on the Council of the Academy (2006-10). Mark’s doctoral research on mental illness is the foundation for his later work on the history of policing, punishment and criminal justice. His books include Insanity and the Insane in Post-Famine Ireland (1981 and 2003), Police and Government: Histories of Policing in Australia (1994), Punishment in Australian Society (1997), When Police Unionise: the Politics of Law and Order in Australia (2002) and JV Barry: a Life (2007). Mark’s current research, funded through an ARC Professorial Fellowship, focuses on responses to violence in Australian history. In 2012 he published (with Professor Heather Douglas, University of Queensland) Indigenous Crime and Settler Law: White Sovereignty after Empire (Palgrave Macmillan), a study of the criminal law’s response to Aboriginal crimes of violence over the last two centuries. At CEPS, Mark leads the project Historical Threats, investigating the changing political, institutional, legal and social conditions that characterise modern institutions and discourses of policing and security.

Griffith University

Lecturer,School of Criminology and Criminal Justice

Associate Investigator, ARC Centre of Excellence in Policing and Security