ABSTRACT

Homeland Security and Civil Liberties: A Pluralistic Approach   [open pdf - 26KB]

This paper argues that we need to develop a new, pluralistic framework for evaluating the use of force in homeland security activities, and shows how such a framework might function, using ethnic profiling as an example. In support of this claim, the author argues that Just War Theory, the main moral framework for evaluating the use of force, is not adequate for evaluating the use of force in homeland security activities, and that existing regulations governing the use of force by soldiers and police officers are also not adequate for this purpose. The paper then presents a framework that is pluralistic, in that it is not based upon a single moral theory and in that it acknowledges multiple incommensurable criteria for evaluating the use of force in homeland security activities rather than seeking to evaluate all such activities using a single criterion or a single formula that tells how to prioritize these criteria. Finally, the paper presents an example of how such a pluralistic moral framework can provide guidance to homeland security professionals without preventing them from exercising their own professional judgment, using the issue of ethnic profiling of persons of Arab descent or appearance at airport security checkpoints. The paper concludes that a pluralistic moral framework is both more theoretically sound and more practically applicable than existing moral frameworks, or than any new monistic moral framework could be.

Author:
Publisher:
Copyright:
Public Domain
Format:
pdf
Media Type:
application/pdf
URL:
Help with citations