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Law and Security in Europe: Reconsidering the Security Constitution


Law and Security in Europe: Reconsidering the Security Constitution


Ius Commune: European and Comparative Law Series
Volume 112
book | published | 1st print
March, 2013 | ISBN 978-1-78068-147-4 | xviii + 253 pp. | paperback

BISAC LAW / International, LAW / Criminal Law / General, LAW / Constitutional


This collection of essays is divided in two parts. In the first part, security is considered from a theoretical angle, as a phenomenon that has become an integral part of modern society and inevitably interacts with law in many ways. The aim of the authors’ analyses is to emphasise the ambiguity of the notion of security and its tendency to expand and affect simultaneously different fields of law.

Depending on the adopted approach, security can be understood in many different terms and through various concepts: inter alia through exceptionality, from a constructivist viewpoint, or as human security. Whereas for example, an ‘existential’ approach takes risk and danger as a fact of life and is based on the assumption of the fragility of the human condition, leading to traditional and military understandings of security, a constructivist approach regards security as a discursive speech act enabling criticism of security claims. Analysing security in connection with law highlights both tensions and contradictions. From classical analyses on states of emergency to new conceptualizations of security as a specific dimension within the process of European integration (‘the European Security Constitution’), legal approaches to security and law today are facing many paradoxes and challenges.

The second part of the book considers some of these security dilemmas in two specific areas of law: human rights and criminal law. Here, the authors address the militarisation of the fight against terrorism, the distinction between administrative and penal sanctions, the limits of intelligence activities and the scope of criminalisation.

As the book brings together scholars from different fields of law focusing on law and security from particular perspectives it is appealing to those constitutional, criminal, international and EU lawyers who are interested in both theoretical and practical aspects of the relationship between security and law.

About this book:
‘[…] interesting perspectives on a complex topic, […] connections between security and law that are not immediately obvious become visible.’
Stefan Kieber in NLMR 2013, 222

‘Even though this book is seemingly restricted to “security in Europe,” as stated in its title, its value lies far beyond the borders of the European Union. This is because it deals with two subjects, “law” and ”security” that transcend national or regional boundaries, and encompass matters that are, or should be, of concern to the entire world. The subjects are especially important in the United States, where issues of security are proving to be a continuous and pervasive problem for law-makers, government officials and the military. […] This is an important book because it focuses on an issue of critical importance to democratic regimes around the world – how to balance and reconcile the needs and requirements of a security regime with the protection of civil or human rights. This volume could, and should, mark the beginning of a dialogue in other countries and in the international community on the role of security in democratic institutions and on the issue of how security requirements for a particular country or region can be developed in the context of democratic constitutionalism.’
James G. Apple on (27 October 2013) 

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