Skip to main content
Kent Academic Repository

Dirty Little Secrets: State and Corporate Complicity in Rendition, Secret Detention and Torture

Blakeley, Ruth, Raphael, Sam (2013) Dirty Little Secrets: State and Corporate Complicity in Rendition, Secret Detention and Torture. In: British International Studies Association Annual Conference, June 2013, Birmingham. (KAR id:44066)


Based on a comprehensive investigation into the nature and evolution of the global rendition system, this paper seeks to provide an account of the extent of British involvement in and knowledge of that system. It shows that UK authorities have been complicit in a wide range of human rights violations associated with rendition, secret detention and torture. Using Stanley Cohen’s framework for explaining how states deny involvement in and knowledge of atrocities we demonstrate the various ways that the UK government sought to cover up both its knowledge of the system, and its role within it. The paper is also aimed at offering some insights into how we have undertaken the research into these highly secretive practices. The paper begins by setting out the key elements of the global rendition system. It then explains how each of those elements violates various human rights conventions before going on to examine the extent of British involvement, and the lengths the British government went to in denying both knowledge of the system and complicity in it.

Item Type: Conference or workshop item (Paper)
Projects: The Globalisation of Rendition and Secret Detention
Uncontrolled keywords: rendition, torture, human rights abuses, UK foreign policy
Subjects: J Political Science
J Political Science > JZ International relations
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Human and Social Sciences > School of Politics and International Relations
Funders: Economic and Social Research Council (
Depositing User: Ruth Blakeley
Date Deposited: 06 Nov 2014 10:48 UTC
Last Modified: 12 Jul 2022 10:40 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

University of Kent Author Information

Blakeley, Ruth.

Creator's ORCID:
CReDIT Contributor Roles:
  • Depositors only (login required):

Total unique views for this document in KAR since July 2020. For more details click on the image.