The first few years of the twenty-first century have delivered a succession of shocks to liberal democratic societies, threatening security and economic stability, and challenging many of our assumptions about the relationships between individuals, states and the global community. The terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 reshaped security concerns and priorities for liberal democracies, both at home and in foreign policy. The Western military interventions in the Middle East that followed 9/11 continue to influence our debates about security, freedom and citizens duties to the state, and our duties to people beyond state borders. Many nations have passed legislation designed to identify terrorists and prevent attacks. Critics have protested that these laws are unjustifiable encroachments on the civil liberties that define liberal democracies. Is it acceptable to tap phones if a government authority thinks that doing so might identify people planning terrorist attacks? Can we justify holding people for long periods without warrants and evidence, in defiance of the traditional protection of habeas corpus? Should we think of balancing liberty with security? Or, to ask one of the most central questions of modern politics: how extensive should the reach of state power be? Should it extend beyond national borders?
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