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Why Torture?

Blakeley, Ruth (2007) Why Torture? Review of International Studies, 33 (3). pp. 373-394. ISSN 0260-2105. (doi:10.1017/S0260210507007565) (KAR id:1427)


I develop a framework to account for torture, which I argue should be understood with reference to international relations. I show that torture is intended as a tool to ensure the security, stability and legitimacy of elites, often transnationally, but there is often a disjuncture between its intended and actual outcomes. Despite dominant claims that torture is used to defeat security threats, most torture is intended to deter political opposition and secure legitimacy for elites. I conclude that torture should be renounced, both on moral grounds, and because it is not necessary for the functions it is intended to serve.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1017/S0260210507007565
Uncontrolled keywords: torture, political violence, state terrorism, ticking bomb, repression, human rights
Subjects: J Political Science > JZ International relations
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Human and Social Sciences > School of Politics and International Relations
Depositing User: Ruth Blakeley
Date Deposited: 19 Dec 2007 17:43 UTC
Last Modified: 16 Nov 2021 09:40 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

University of Kent Author Information

Blakeley, Ruth.

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