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States of EmergencyColonialism, Literature and Law$
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Stephen Morton

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9781846318498

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: May 2014

DOI: 10.5949/liverpool/9781846318498.001.0001

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(p.209) Conclusion
States of Emergency

Stephen Morton

Liverpool University Press

The concluding chapter considers how the legal and political arguments for detention camps in the US-led ‘war on terror’ draw on the rhetoric of emergency to reinforce the necessity for broader police and/or military powers, and to justify measures that not only contravene the principles of international human rights legislation, but which also resemble the legal, political and military techniques of European colonial powers in the twentieth century. Beginning with a discussion of the legal regime which enabled the detention of ‘enemy combatants’ at Guantánamo Bay, this chapter proceeds to consider how Muslims have been represented in the ‘post-9/11’ fiction of Ian McEwan and Martin Amis. In so doing, I try to address to what extent the ‘post-9/11’ novel participates in the dominant discourse of terrorism. As a counterpoint to such representations, the chapter then moves to consider how contemporary fiction by Muslim writers such as Mohsin Hamid and Kamila Shamsie questions and complicates the prevailing tropes and narratives of militant Islam that frame the justification of emergency measures in the ‘war on terror’.

Keywords:   war on terror, state of exception, Guantánamo Bay, detention, post-9/11 novel, Ian McEwan, Martin Amis, Mohsin Hamid, Kamila Shamsie, Salman Rushdie

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