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The Lesser Evil - Edinburgh Scholarship Online
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The Lesser Evil

Michael Ignatieff


Must we fight terrorism with terror and torture with torture? Must we sacrifice civil liberty to protect public safety? In the age of terrorism, this book argues that we must not shrink from the use of violence. But its use – in a liberal democracy – must be measured. And we must not fool ourselves that whatever we do in the name of freedom and democracy is good. We may need to kill to fight the greater evil of terrorism, but we must never pretend that doing so is anything better than a lesser evil. In making this case, this book traces the modern history of terrorism and counter-terrorism, fr ... More

Keywords: terrorism, terror, torture, civil liberty, public safety, violence, liberal democracy, freedom, counter-terrorism, nihilists

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2004 Print ISBN-13: 9780748618729
Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: September 2012 DOI:10.3366/edinburgh/9780748618729.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Michael Ignatieff, author