Mass Electronic Surveillance, Security and Rights in Liberal Democracies panel discussion at RCIR

Snapshot of Boundless Informant global heat map of data collection. The color scheme ranges from green (least subjected to surveillance) through yellow and orange to red (most surveillance). Note the '2007' date in the image relates to the document from which the interactive map derives its top secret classification, not to the map itself.

Snapshot of Boundless Informant global heat map of data collection. Color scheme ranges from green (least subjected to surveillance) through yellow and orange to red (most surveillance). The ‘2007’ date in the image relates to the document from which the interactive map derives its top secret classification, not to the map itself. Source here.

21st January 2014, 630pm, Safra Lecture Theatre, Strand Campus.Please be prompt as seats are first come, first served.

The Research Centre in International Relations in the Department of War Studies will host a panel discussion on revelations relating to mass electronic surveillance and its implications for civil liberties and rights.

Speakers include Sir David Omand (former Head of GCHQ and Visiting Professor in the Department of War Studies), Ben Emmerson QC (Mr. Ben Emmerson, Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism, and Matrix Chambers), Professor Didier Bigo (Department of War Studies and Sciences Po, Paris), and chairing, Professor Vivienne Jabri (Department of War Studies, head of RCIR).

The event is at the Edmond J. Safra Lecture Theatre, King’s College London Strand Campus, Strand, London WC2R 2LS. Directions here. Continue reading

Body/politic and the illumination of Human Suffering

by K.M. Fierke, University of St. Andrews

Why write a book on a topic so macabre as Political Self Sacrifice? The beginnings were simple enough. I was puzzled by the significance of two distinct words, ‘suicide’ terrorist and martyr – words with two very different meanings, yet used interchangeably to refer to human bombs. But the question of language, while interesting, is not the only one. Why put cases as different as self-immolation by fire, nonviolent martyrdom, hunger strikes and the human bomb under the same microscope, when surely these are very different phenomenon? What do, for instance, the hundreds of Tibetan monks who have set themselves on fire over the past few years, the sixty Kurdish hunger strikers in Turkey (2012) or the hundred some hunger strikers at Guantanamo, the thousands of nonviolent activists killed in the early days of the Syrian revolution or the suicide terrorist from Hamas, share, if anything, in common? Why have acts of self-destruction, whether in the form of lighting a match or putting one’s self in harm’s way, been undertaken by so many and why should we, as scholars of international relations, be interested? Continue reading