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Terror and Consent: The Wars for the Twenty-first Century Paperback – May 5, 2009
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Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
This new market state Bobbitt describes is no longer confined to a sovereign territory, it is a decentralized and privatized network of relationships. It has all the characteristics of a multinational corporation and it treats its citizens much like a consumers. The market state has many upsides in that it presents its citizens with unprecedented freedoms and opportunities.
This book, however, is about the downside of the market state and the opportunities it provides terrorists. Today's terrorist networks are a byproduct of the market state, indeed they are an opportunistic parasite of the market state. They harness its technology and networks to wage war against it.
Bobbitt is not a neoconservative, he is a law professor who sees the need for a new constitutional order that reflects the needs of this new market state. Although he supported the war in Iraq, he now emphasizes the need for stronger international alliances and a "commitment to globalize the systems of human rights and government by consent.Read more ›
In the first page, Professor Bobbitt introduces a broad definition of terror which includes the socially debilitating effects of natural disasters, such as earthquakes, as well as man-made disasters, including terrorism and human rights violations. This is both an accurate and elegant definition - it encompasses things that diminish the human condition; and it is a practical definition in an age of transnational threats where multi-lateral action is a necessity. "We are fighting terror, not just terrorists." I like that.
Yet how does a state effectively and legitimately pursue such policies and enact such cooperation? This question inevitably raises strategic and constitutional issues.
Professor Bobbitt's approach compels a reexamination of strategy, which includes how we organize our resources and conceptualize intervention - peaceful or otherwise - in the highly complex and uncertain environment of the 21st century. And here he makes the case that the alignment of strategy with law is absolutely essential. Our response to terror must be from the legal high ground; which, one hopes, also corresponds to the moral high ground.
I especially liked his detailed discussion of bio-terrorism and the detailed rebuttal to the International Institute for Strategic Studies Adelphi Paper - Nuclear Terrorism After 9/11. This, in conjunction with the background surrounding the A. H.Read more ›
To save you the time required to read it. Here's a synopsis.
The premise of the book is that we are in the midst of a transition to a market-based global order. This means that the nation-state (and even the entire notion of public governance) will be replaced by corporate surrogates (via outsourcing) operating on a global level. The basis for the legitimacy of this new order will be that it offers individuals more choices than ever before (the political parallel to a fully stocked supermarket). However, its emergence will be at the expense of minimal safety nets and communitarian efforts.
The enemy of this newly emerging market-based system, and the main focus of this book, are (naturally) terrorists. Terrorists, Bobbitt claims, fight us because they hate the choices provided to us by this emerging market-world.
The way they fight us is by limiting our choices through terror. Terror, in this context, is essentially theater. In this theater, disgruntled people (Islamic terrorists and beyond) will use the threat of flamboyant attacks to limit the choices offered by the market-world. Since the market-state will continue to produce ever greater levels of choice to an ever greater number of people, this clash is inevitable. Therefore, our societal objective is to harden ourselves (through smart legal maneuvers and investments in infrastructure) to limit the the levels of terror that can be produced by our opponents. By doing this, we can buy time as the market-world continues to expand to ever greater numbers of people.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Bobbitt has done his usual fine job of delving farther into the philosophy of counter-terrorism than anyone. Read morePublished 1 month ago by John Desmond
A scholarly explanation of the terrorist phenomena. The author explains that terrorism is not at all new, in fact a lot of the tactics adopted by "modern" terrorists are... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Janet Dykstra
Bobbitt is both scholar (in the archaic sense of the word) and genius. His particular brilliance comes in being an unparallelled fund of knowledge, and being able to take... Read morePublished 6 months ago by Doreen Meyer
Challenges conventional thinking about what wars of the 21st century are going to be like and why they'll be quite different than what occurred previously.Published 11 months ago by Genma Saotome
Bobbit's follow up to shield of achilles was top notch as was the predecessor. I highly recommend it. required reading for 21st century geopoliticsPublished 21 months ago by david aronow
I was disappointed in this book and found it way too superficial especially for someone with the background of the author.Published on July 25, 2013 by Wayne Lusvardi
`Terror and Consent' deserves high praise for both insight and thoroughness. The insights are of an analytical rather than a revelatory kind. Read morePublished on February 24, 2011 by DAVID BRYSON
This extraordinary book, a follow-on to his seminal "The Shield of Achilles", recapitulates the nexus of changes in military science, strategy, and governmental epochs from the... Read morePublished on October 5, 2010 by Ronald M. Weintraub
This dense text reminds me of political science books in college. It uses a historical context of governments, and compares how wars were fought as governments evolved. Read morePublished on January 18, 2010 by Elihu Feustel