Ignatieff, Ireland and the 'Lesser Evil': Some Problems with the Lessons Learnt

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


In writing his highly influential and widely read work 'The Lesser Evil', Michael Ignatieff stated that his purpose was to answer the question as to what means democracies can justifiably employ to defeat 'terrorism without 'destroying the values for which they stand. To do so, Ignatieff sought to learn from other 'terrorist emergencies', including the actions and policies employed by successive British Government in Northern Ireland. This chapter critically analyses Ignatieff's reading of British policies in Northern Ireland and the lessons he seeks to learn as a result as to how democracies act in the context of political violence.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDiscourses and Practices of Terrorism: Interrogating Terror
EditorsBob Brecher, Mark Devenney, Aaron Winter
Place of PublicationLondon
Number of pages16
ISBN (Print)978-0415488082
Publication statusPublished - 9 Feb 2010

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