Interrogating the War on Terror presents a critique of contemporary war culture and politics, introducing a range of political, philosophical, legal, artistic and social perspectives on a devastating war. Bringing together contributors from the United States, UK and Australia-implicitly dissenting from within the Coalition of the Willing-this volume explores the discourses and cultural effects of the current "war on terror". Is the so-called war on terror justified? Seeking an ethical engagement with the problems and paradoxes of this global conflict, the authors situate the historical and legal meanings of terror and terrorism alongside the exploitation of such terms by the Bush Administration and other governments in recent years. Contributions by philosophers, sociologists, and law and literature scholars raise questions about neo-conservatism, freedom, security and the new legitimation of torture, and demonstrate how this war brings political and discursive power to bear on democracy, human rights and individuals in places as far-flung as Iraq, Bali, and the U.S.
Artworks by internationally renowned war artist George Gittoes, and several essays by cultural theorists return a critical emphasis to the role of visual media, affect, gender and popular culture in understanding and rethinking war. Interrogating the War on Terror's multi-disciplinary and international perspectives will be useful to scholars and students alike in addressing this highly topical issue. The essays reference mainstream sources and widely-documented events in the war on terror, making it accessible also to the general reader.
Dr. Deborah Staines is a cultural theorist and researcher in Critical and Cultural Studies at Macquarie University, Australia, and Visiting Fellow at the Centre for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities, Cambridge University, UK in 2007-08. She specialises in the cultural analysis of Auschwitz. Her publications on Auschwitz, and issues of violence, representation and public culture, have appeared in international journals and books.