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The Struggle of Democracy against Terrorism

Lessons from the United States, the United Kingdom, and Israel
Emanuel Gross

BUY Cloth · 320 pp. · 6.13 × 9.25 · ISBN 9780813925318 · $38.50 · Jun 2006

Radically different from other struggles covered by the international laws of war, the war on terrorism continues to create new legal challenges and grave moral dilemmas for the free world. Democracies are increasingly faced with balancing security against civil liberties, human rights, and the rule of law. In his new book The Struggle of Democracy against Terrorism, Emanuel Gross examines the legal and moral complexities democracies face when dealing with terrorism. Drawing on his own experience as a former judge in the Israeli military courts, Gross compares the experiences of the United States, Israel, and the United Kingdom, providing a broad picture of the dangers posed by the measures these democracies use to combat terrorism.

Particularly critical of the U.S. Patriot Act, Gross outlines what he argues to be the three cornerstones of Israel's experience with terrorism applicable to other democracies. On this platform, he bases his examination of the various laws that apply to a democracy's fight against terrorism, providing sharp and wide-ranging analysis that will be of great use to citizens and governments worldwide. Both provocative and informative, The Struggle of Democracy against Terrorism will appeal to students and teachers of law, political science, and philosophy, as well as to citizens and activists concerned with the impact of terrorism on civil liberties.


From the unique vantage point of having had a career as a military lawyer and judge in Israel, Emanuel Gross offers a compelling case for the necessity of fidelity to the rule of law in the face of terrorist threats. This comparative look at how democracies respond to terror is a critical contribution to one of the greatest challenges of the twenty-first century.

David Cole, Georgetown University Law Center

 No issue looms larger today than the permissible responses of democratic governments to the threat of terrorism.... Professor Gross provides a forceful and controversial defense of extraordinary measures taken to combat terrorism that will illuminate ongoing debates in all countries where prized liberty is threatened by the fear for security.

Samuel Issacharoff, NYU School of Law

 As this timely and fair-minded book reveals, the soul of democracy depends on details in the rules of interrogation and detention, the definition of a civilian for purposes of the laws of war, the regulation of technological surveillance inside and outside of the nation's borders, and the scope of judicial review. As Chief Justice Aharon Barak of the Israeli Supreme Court writes in his Foreword, this book will assist every jurist; it is in fact vital reading for any citizen who wants to assess the measures undertaken or proposed in our name.

Martha Minow, Harvard Law School

About the Author: 

Emanuel Gross, Professor of Criminal Law at Haifa University, is the author of The Crown Witness. Aharon Barak is the President of the Supreme Court of Israel.

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