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Call For Chapter Proposals: Counter Terrorism Laws and Freedom of Expression: Global Perspectives

07.02.2019 09:44 | Anonymous member (Administrator)

Deadline: February 15, 2019

This anthology is designed to survey the use of counterterrorism laws and their effects on civil liberties, particularly freedom of expression. The editors for the volume will be Dr. Téwodros Workneh and Dr. Paul Haridakis of Kent State University. We are seeking chapter proposals for inclusion in a book proposal we are submitting to Routledge.

The terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 in the United States as well as other terrorist-related incidents in different parts of the world have caused profound changes in political, economic, and social relations globally. Nations have aggressively sought a wide range of mechanisms to proactively curb potential threats, such as strengthening controls on immigration, financial transactions, and regulation of communication systems. While arms of executive branches such as law enforcement bodies and even militaries are commonly part of the anti-terrorism apparatus, the most conspicuous common denominator across nations has been the rise of what came to be known as counter-terrorism laws. Today, more than 45 countries in the world have enacted legislation that specifically is designed to address terrorism concerns. Counter-terrorism laws usually empower states to expedite prosecution of alleged offenders by bypassing standard criminal jurisprudence processes. Critics argue that counter-terrorism laws are prone to be misappropriated by state actors who routinely use such laws in non-terrorism domestic contexts. As a consequence, laws designed to combat terrorism are being applied domestically in contexts not involving terrorism—such as governmental efforts to quash political dissent or restrict other forms of citizen expressive activities.

The recent prominence of counter-terrorism laws across the world has had significant implications to the study of global terrorism from social scientific perspectives (e.g., legal and policy perspectives), especially in terms of determining what constitutes (and doesn’t) an expression of terrorism. Evidence from different parts of the world indicate many journalists, media practitioners, activists and everyday citizens who disseminate alternative or critical political discourse are experiencing various forms of harassment, persecution, intimidation, and even legal prosecution under broadly framed terrorism charges sanctioned by state-sponsored counter-terrorism legislation. For example, in Ethiopia, the Anti-Terrorism Proclamation of 2009 has been used to prosecute several bloggers and journalists who were accused of writing about opposition groups designated by the government as terrorists. In the United States, despite its strong tradition of First and Fourth Amendment constitutional rights of free speech and privacy, the FBI has routinely used, provisions of the USA Patriot Act of 2001 to demand information about U.S. citizens including journalists’ sources. Saudi Arabia has aggressively used its anti-terrorism law to criminalize a wide range of peaceful expression that has subjected several individuals to different forms of retribution including capital punishment.

Broadly framed, this call for proposals is concerned with how global counter terrorism laws have conditioned communication patterns, especially in terms of individual and institutional political speech. Almost all counter-terrorism laws incorporate language that affects communication, communication systems, media and/or media practitioners, an individual expression. In many instances, these laws define alleged terrorist speech, delineate the use of communication systems to disseminate said speech, and designate parameters to prosecute terrorists and networks of terrorism. At the same time, journalists, activists, and everyday media users across the world continue to experience varying degrees of state-sponsored harassment as a result of the broad interpretation of counter-terrorism laws that conflate terrorist expression with freedom of speech. In the midst of the rise of populist politics, nationalist political movements, and the retreat of the democratic order globally, the question about freedom of speech in the era of counter-terrorism frameworks is urgent. It is against this backdrop that we ask: What happens when a state-sanctioned legal framework aimed at protecting the public from terrorist activity, mostly perpetrated from foreign adversaries, is used internally against citizens? What are some of the consequences of using counter-terrorism laws that are prone to conflate freedom of expression with terrorist acts?

Manuscript submissions may address the following themes through a case study approach. Contributors shall focus on a given nation state and can explore one or a combination of the following thematic areas in addition to other related themes with the above scope in mind:

▪ Counter-terrorism laws and self-censorship

▪ The discourse/rhetoric of counter-terrorism laws

▪ Counter-terrorism laws and surveillance

▪ Country case studies of litigation focusing on counter terrorism laws

▪ Counter-terrorism laws and media practitioners

▪ Public communication in the age of counter-terrorism laws

▪ Counter-terrorism laws in democracies

▪ Counter-terrorism laws in autocracies

▪ Internet governance and counter-terrorism laws

▪ Counter-terrorism laws and privacy in digital platforms

▪ Journalism ethics and counter-terrorism laws


If you would like to contribute, please submit an abstract of 250-300 words to Dr. Téwodros Workneh ( by February 15, 2019.

Submission components

▪ Title of chapter

▪ Author name/s, institutional details

▪ Corresponding author’s email address

▪ Keywords (no more than 5)

▪ A short bio (Maximum 100 words)

Additional guidelines

Commissioned chapters will be around 7,000 words. Accepting an abstract does not guarantee the publication of the final manuscript. Once the book proposal is approved, all chapters will be subject to a double-blind reviewing process.

Abstracts and questions should be addressed to Dr. Tewodros Workneh at or Dr. Paul Haridakis at



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