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Mediating Human Rights addresses how the relationship between security and civil liberties has been shaped by the media. Human rights have never been as ubiquitous as in the aftermath of the events of 9/11, when the security agenda rose to prominence and created significant tensions between anti-terrorism legislation and rights.
This book seeks to examine how such tensions are negotiated, discussed and represented in the media, focusing specifically on the growing importance of the new social media in the promotion of human rights values.
Taking as its main focus the state of human rights in liberal regimes which have been accused of using security concerns as a pretext for eroding liberties and rights in their own backyards, Mediating Human Rights captures important shifts in a human rights narrative that has become increasingly focused on the changing balance between liberty and security.
Rights are entwined with popular notions of freedom, equality and the rule of law; but they also act as a lightning rod for occasional, but influential, public concern with the weakness or softness of the state. This is reflected in media representations which, Lieve Gies shows, are more complex and more nuanced than is often assumed.
Deploying a variety of qualitative research methods - media analysis, ethnographic field research, cultural theory, case commentaries - Mediating Human Rights offers an insightful account of the media politics of terrorism and human rights.