This volume examines the lessons and legacies of the U.S.-led "Global War on Terror," utilizing the framework of a political "moral panic."

A decade after 9/11, it is increasingly difficult to deny that terror has prevailed – not as a specific enemy, but as a way of life. Transport, trade, and communications are repeatedly threatened and disrupted worldwide. While the pace and intensity of terror attacks have abated, many of the temporary security measures and sacrifices of liberty adopted in their immediate aftermath have become more or less permanent.

This book examines the social, cultural, and political drivers of the war on terror through the framework of a "political moral panic": the exploration of threats to particular individuals or institutions that come to be viewed as threats to a way of life, social norms and values, civilization, and even morality itself. Drawing upon a wide range of domestic and international case studies, this volume reinforces the need for reason, empathy, and a dogged defence of principle in the face of terror.

This book will be of much interest to students of terrorism studies, human rights, U.S. foreign policy, American politics, and Security Studies and I.R. in general.

chapter |8 pages


Constructing national and global insecurity

part |78 pages

Responses at Ground Zero

chapter |29 pages

The banality of deterrence

The detention and the denial of asylum seekers after 9/11

chapter |17 pages

Religion out of place

Islam and cults as perceived threats in the United States

part |46 pages

Globalization of the war on terror

chapter |30 pages

Fighting phantoms

The United States and counterterrorism in eastern Africa

part |7 pages


chapter |5 pages

The politics of moral panics

Norms and national insecurity