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Zeitschrift für Politikwissenschaft

, Volume 28, Issue 4, pp 535–552 | Cite as

The expansion of executive force in the War on Terror and its impact on domestic and international norms

  • Annette Förster
Aufsatz
  • 30 Downloads

Abstract

Since the terrorist attacks on September 11 2001, the United States have been in a continuing state of emergency. The formal state of exception is one element of a two-headed development: the expansion of executive force accompanied by the reduction of democratic control mechanisms and legal protections from abuse. The balance of power between the branches has shifted and the limits of the legitimate exercise of state force have become blurred.

In the process of re-balancing liberty and security in the face of an exceptional threat, fundamental principles of the US democratic system and of international law, such as the right to privacy, due process, or the prohibition of torture have been limited and violated. Are these measures necessary to counter terrorism effectively or do they jeopardize what shall be protected: the liberal democratic tradition and constitution of the United States? I argue that rather than ensuring security, the two-headed development erodes founding stones of the US democratic system—liberty, equality, due process, the separation of powers in a system of checks and balances. They impair the enforcement of international norms and complicate international cooperation.

Exekutive Gewaltexpansion im Krieg gegen den Terror und ihre Auswirkungen auf nationale und internationale Normen

Zusammenfassung

Seit den Terroranschlägen vom 11. September 2001 befinden sich die USA im Ausnahmezustand. Der formale Ausnahmezustand ist ein Element einer zweiteiligen Entwicklung: die Expansion exekutiver Gewalt, einhergehend mit der Schwächung demokratischer Kontroll- und rechtlicher Schutzmechanismen gegen den Missbrauch dieser Gewalt. Die Balance zwischen den Gewalten hat sich verschoben und die Grenzen legitimer Gewaltausübung sind verschwommen.

Im Prozess einer neuen Ausbalancierung von Freiheit und Sicherheit in Anbetracht der terroristischen Bedrohung wurden grundlegende Prinzipien des demokratischen Systems der USA sowie des Völkerrechts eingeschränkt und verletzt, darunter das Recht auf Privatheit, auf ein faires Verfahren oder das Folterverbot. Sind dies notwendige Maßnahmen um Terrorismus effektiv zu begegnen oder setzen sie vielmehr aufs Spiel, was es zu verteidigen gilt: die liberal-demokratische Tradition und Verfassung der USA? Statt Sicherheit zu gewährleisten, so mein Argument, untergräbt diese zweiteilige Entwicklung Grundsteine des demokratischen Systems der USA – Freiheit, Gleichheit, Rechtsstaatlichkeit sowie Gewaltenteilung in einem System gegenseitiger Kontrolle. Sie schwächt internationale Normen und erschwert internationale Zusammenarbeit.

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Copyright information

© Springer Fachmedien Wiesbaden GmbH, ein Teil von Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institut für Politische WissenschaftRWTH AachenAachenGermany

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