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Download Chasing Phantoms: Reality, Imagination, and Homeland by Michael Barkun PDF

By Michael Barkun

Even supposing a record through the congressionally mandated fee at the Prevention of guns of Mass Destruction, Proliferation, and Terrorism concluded that organic or nuclear guns have been probably to be unleashed within the years quickly after 2001, what americans even have skilled are particularly low-tech threats. but even below a brand new management, awesome household and overseas rules enacted via the U.S. executive within the wake of 11th of September stay unchanged. Political scientist and previous FBI advisor Michael Barkun argues nonrational, emotion-driven obsession with hazards that can not be obvious has performed and maintains to play an underrecognized function in maintaining the weather of worry that drives the U.S. ''war on terror.''
Barkun identifies a niche among the realities of terrorism--''violence with out a go back address''--and the standard discourse approximately it between executive officers and most people. Demonstrating that U.S. native land safety coverage displays major nonrational pondering, Barkun deals new thoughts for effective--and rational--policymaking.

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Extra resources for Chasing Phantoms: Reality, Imagination, and Homeland Security Since 9/11

Sample text

But it was HIV/AIDS that signaled the beginning of a new era of disease fear. The first warning by the Centers for Disease Control came in 1981, and by the late 1980s, HIV/AIDS was a subject of national concern, with increasing discrimination against Disaster and Terrorism 31 sufferers. West Nile virus appeared in 1999 and, although rarely fatal, caused significant anxiety in the New York City area. Around the same time— 1996–97— the first cases of avian influenza, the H5N1 strain, began to appear in Asia and spread toward Europe.

This is not to say that their analyses were superficial or undeserving of serious consideration, only that they were rooted in the special concerns of their times. However, the most striking aspect of this literature is its concentration upon anthropogenic disasters. The pervasive disaster consciousness that emerged had virtually no concern for the homeostatic natural disasters that had preoccupied earlier periods, doubtless in the belief that the powers of science and technology now held these dangers at bay.

23 The contemporary understanding of risk— and by extension, hazard and vulnerability— has been powerfully altered by the work of the German sociologist Ulrich Beck. Beck speaks of our living in a “risk society,” more dangerous than that which confronted earlier generations. 24 These are anthropogenic disasters, turning consumer products into hidden poisons, degrading the environment, and seeding the world with insidious sources of radiation. Beck makes clear that such dire consequences are unintended; indeed, they result from science and technology run amok.

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