This book analyses and compares how the USA’s liberal allies responded
to the use of torture against their citizens after 9/11. Did they resist, tolerate
or support the Bush Administration’s policies concerning the mistreatment
of detainees when their own citizens were implicated and what were the
reasons for their actions?
Australia, the UK and Canada are liberal democracies sharing similar political
cultures, values and alliances with America; yet they behaved differently
when their citizens, caught up in the War on Terror, were tortured. How states
responded to citizens’ human rights claims and predicaments was shaped, in
part, by demands for accountability placed on the executive government by
This book argues that civil society actors, in particular, were influenced by
nuanced differences in their national political and legal contexts that enabled
or constrained human rights activism. It maps the conditions under which
individuals and groups were more or less likely to become engaged when
fellow citizens were tortured, focusing on national rights culture, the domestic
legal and political human rights framework, and political opportunities.
Cite the publication as
Banham, Cynthia (2017). Liberal democracies and the torture of their citizens. Oxford: Hart Publishing.