The War on Crime as Precursor to the War on Terror

Aziz Huq and Chris Muller discuss the similarities of the 40-year-old "war on crime" and the current "war on terror," coming to a sobering conclusion about the most recent use of this war paradigm.

September 30, 2008

 

 

 

 

 

Aziz Huq of the Brennan Center for Justice and Chris Muller from the Department of Sociology at Harvard University discuss the similarities of the 40-year-old "war on crime" and the current "war on terror," coming to a sobering conclusion about the most recent use of this war paradigm.

Casting the tenor of the article with an opening quotation about the futile struggle against Baltimore's ubiquitous drug trade from HBO's The Wire, Mr. Huq and Mr. Muller draw the reader's attention to the resemblance of the development and eventual failure of the war on crime with that of the war on terror. Mr. Huq and Mr. Muller highlight four converging points between these two wars:

·        The use of fear to cause and justify action;

·        the resulting muddle of responses;

·        the use of zero-tolerance policies and policing;

·        and mass incarceration and social exile.

 

“The War on Crime as Precursor to the War on Terror” appears in the International Journal of Law, Crime and Justice, which is available to readers with access to the academic database, ScienceDirect (http://www.sciencedirect.com/).