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Mikael Sundström

Mikael Sundström

Senior lecturer

Mikael Sundström

Terrorising who? Terrorism Countermeasures and the Threats to Democratic Privacy.


  • Mikael Sundström

Summary, in English

The tightened security restrictions after the “911” terrorist attacks must clearly have repercussions for privacy, almost regardless of how this term is conceptualised. The notably fluid essentials of the privacy-term makes it hard to evaluate the actual impact of new regulation as a shared point of reference is in fact lacking (its definition has been a popular topic for vicious debate and acute dissention for more than a century).

The nexus between security/terrorism and privacy now lodged at the very heart of “high-politics” life, is at the present plagued by a slanted and simplistic discourse between focused security “proponents” and more or less disarrayed privacy “proponents”. This is hardly ideal, as proper estimation of the potentially seismic privacy consequences of se-curity politics will be severely hampered.

Building on earlier work, and using democratic theory as the foundation for a coherent privacy conceptuali¬sation, this paper will present a com-pre¬hensive and dispassionate framework capable of a dispassionate “cost-benefit privacy analysis” of security-related regulation. In it, de-mo¬¬cratic privacy will be operationalised as a set of communicative norms/ideals to be compared with the empirical data at hand. To demon¬strate the framework’s utility (which is aimed to be generic), the U.S. Patriot Act, and its democratic privacy impact, will be analysed and discussed.


  • Department of Political Science

Publishing year




Document type

Conference paper


  • Political Science


  • Democracy
  • Patriot Act
  • Terrorism
  • Privacy
  • Democratic Privacy

Conference name

Nordic Political Science Association

Conference date


Conference place

Reykjavik, Iceland