Following President Bush's declaration of a 'War on Terror' in 2001, governments around the world introduced a range of counter-terrorist legislation, policies and practices. These measures have affected not only human rights and civil liberties but also civil society and aid frameworks. Although the Obama administration has renounced the language of the 'War on Terror' and taken steps to revoke aspects such as water-boarding and the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, the bulk of the legislation and practices associated with the post-9/11 global security framework remain. The cluster of papers which follow provide detailed studies of the effects of the War on Terror regime on civil society in four contexts: the USA, Spain, Kenya and Uzbekistan. In this way it lays a basis for civil society actors and aid agencies to reflect more strategically on how they should engage with security debates and initiatives in a way that best protects the spaces of civil society and the interests of minority and vulnerable groups. This introduction sets out the three key themes pursued throughout the cluster articles, namely, the selective impact of counter-terrorist measures on civil society; the particularity of civil society responsiveness to these measures; and the role of aid and diplomacy in pursuing security objectives and its consequences for civil society
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