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How can we enhance our security without damaging our liberty?

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How can we reinforce internal security without destroying basic freedoms? This dilemma will become increasingly topical in the context of rising terrorist threats and in view of some of the responses already put in place at the national level. Many observers have pointed out the threat that these measures pose to individual freedom. But few have highlighted their relative inefficiency. Indeed, if the right to security is one of the founding reasons for political government and one of its main sources of legitimacy, can states still guarantee this basic right? This article examines this dilemma and focuses more specifically on its implications for the notion and practice of sovereignty. It also sketches a strong, but nuanced, rescue of sovereignty at the European level in order to assure individual security while, at the same time, protecting our freedoms.

(Photo credit: Simone Pirozzi, Flickr)