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Palgrave Macmillan

Presidential Policies on Terrorism

From Ronald Reagan to Barack Obama

ISBN 9781137384041
Publication Date May 2014
Formats Hardcover Ebook (PDF) Ebook (EPUB) 
Publisher Palgrave Macmillan

Presidential Policies on Terrorism analyzes how the administrations of Presidents Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama approached the problem of international terrorism and used force to deter and prevent terrorist attacks. Donna G. Starr-Deelen examines specific terrorist events and the administrations' reactions, along with the administrations' choice between a law enforcement approach or a war paradigm in counterterrorism. Ronald Reagan's "war against terrorism" in the 1980's is juxtaposed with the "war on terror" launched by George W. Bush following 9/11. Concluding with an analysis of the Obama administration's approach to drone warfare and treatment of terrorism detainees, Presidential Policies on Terrorism demonstrates how far-reaching aspects of the war on terror continues to impact counterterrorism today.

Donna G. Starr-Deelen earned a JD from the University of San Diego School of Law, USA, an LLM in International and Comparative Law from Georgetown University Law Center, USA, and a PhD in Peace Studies from the University of Bradford, UK. She previously taught Public International Law, Human Rights Law, and other legal subjects before using her legal background to research the use of force against terrorism.

1. Introduction
2. Principles Allocating Foreign Affairs Powers
3. The Administration of Ronald Reagan
4. The Administration of George H.W. Bush
5. The Administration of Bill Clinton
6. The Administration of George W. Bush
7. The Obama Administration and the War on Terror
8. The Legacy of the War on Terror


"Presidential Policies on Terrorism is a thorough and thoughtful analysis of counterterrorism tools from Reagan to Obama. Starr-Deelen explores fundamental issues of the principles that guide the allocation of power over foreign affairs and the role of all three branches in safeguarding constitutional government. She draws on insightful interviews with scholars and policymakers from within the intelligence community." - Louis Fisher, Scholar in Residence, The Constitution Project, USA and author of Presidential War Powers
  • Troy McGrath 12th April 2015

    This work is an excellent example of the confluence of inspired original research, keen analytical insight, and thorough knowledge of the field. The author explores both the domestic sociopolitical and international legal aspects of counter-terrorism to great effect. Moreover, the argument reflects a non-partisan approach to the subject matter with fair criticism of both Democratic and Republican presidents, unlike many other books that cover the period including the George W. Bush administration. It includes interviews with former officials (an anonymous CIA analyst, too) and academics on the efficacy of using force against international terrorism. It ends with thought provoking questions for the Obama administration in its fight against ISIS.

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