The Rhetoric of War: Words, Conflict and Categorization Post-9/11

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An atmosphere of crisis enhances the power, especially of the Executive Branch, to frame and shape the characterization, understanding, and reality of conflict. This Article addresses the language, rhetoric, status, and legality of “war” by examining the complexity of decision-making for policy-makers in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. It does so by looking both inward, examining presidential war rhetoric in the United States, and outward, analyzing the experience of democratic states with the legal construct of “emergency” and “war” under the relevant international human rights treaties.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1
Pages (from-to)241-289
JournalCornell Journal of Law and Public Policy
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2014


  • Legality, War, Emergency, Crisis, International Human Rights


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