Document Type

Book Review

Publication Date

July 2008

Journal/Publication Title

Times Literary Supplement (London)


American University, WCL Research Paper No. 2008-64Abstract:This essay is a book review from the Times Literary Supplement of Philip Bobbitt's widely remarked and admired Terror and Consent. The review compares Bobbitt's unabashedly strategic view of the response of democratic states to terrorism, and contrasts it with more narrowly cost-benefit analysis-driven approaches to responding to terrorism. The review criticizes 'tactical' approaches to terrorism as too focused upon 'event driven catastrophism'. The review considers Bobbitt's analysis of the changing nature of states, and the rise of what he calls the 'market-state'. The essay ends by querying whether the market-state, as Bobbitt conceives it, retains sufficient social capital in the form of citizen participation, rather than merely consumers engaged in passive consumerism, to defend the values of secular, Enlightenment based democracy against challenges posed by the religious fanaticism of jihadist terrorism.

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