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Government by experts: counterterrorism intelligence and democratic retreat

Boukalas, Christos ORCID: 2012. Government by experts: counterterrorism intelligence and democratic retreat. Critical Studies on Terrorism 5 (2) , pp. 277-296. 10.1080/17539153.2012.703809

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The recently retired Homeland Security Advisory System constituted a main means by which the intensity of the terrorist threat was communicated to the United States' public. An examination of its inner workings and its social impact shows the System as part of a modality of government: an encapsulation of intelligence-led governmentality. Informed by the political philosophy of Cornelius Castoriadis, I contextualise this modality as a settling of fundamental tensions inherent in modern sociopolitical culture, those between the principle of social and personal autonomy, and that of rational mastery of people and nature. These principles are strongly connected to democratic and oligarchic political organisation, respectively, and they give rise to different justifications of state authority. In turn, they pertain to the fundamental question of whether scientific expertise on politics is possible.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Department of Politics and International Relations (POLIR)
Social Sciences (Includes Criminology and Education)
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > B Philosophy (General)
J Political Science > JC Political theory
J Political Science > JF Political institutions (General)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Homeland Security Advisory System; democracy; intelligence; government by experts; Castoriadis.
Publisher: Routledge
ISSN: 1753-9153
Date of Acceptance: 28 May 2012
Last Modified: 27 Oct 2022 08:29

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