Colleen Bell

From Guantánamo Bay to the war in Iraq, the implementation of security measures since 9/11 has sparked fears that Western nations are violating the very rights and freedoms they pledge to promote and protect. The United States has been at the centre of debates, but how have the politics of security influenced the commitment to freedom in other liberal democracies?

In The Freedom of Security, Colleen Bell argues that Canada’s counter-terrorism and national security practices should not be framed as a departure from liberal governance – a trade-off between security and freedom – but rather as a restructuring of modalities of governance through the framework of security. Through timely examples – security certificates and border controls, the deployment of troops in Afghanistan, and the detainment and torture of Abdullah Almalki in Syria – Bell demonstrates that security measures are not simply eroding civil liberties and respect for human rights, as their opponents argue. Nor are these measures protecting freedom and liberty, as their adherents claim: they are fundamentally reshaping ideas and practices of freedom.

Engaging with the works of Foucault, Agamben, and Schmitt, this critical study of Canada’s “war on terror” exposes the pervasive ways in which the logic and practices of security are coming to define our rights and freedoms.

Books By Colleen Bell