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Scott Gilmore

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Review of Darius Rejali’s Torture and Democracy

Through a typology of the modern techniques of torture and an examination of their histories, Darius Rejali observes that modern torture is characterized by the infliction of pain without visible trace. He hypothesizes that the selection of these techniques was first performed by Western democracies to evade public scrutiny. With the rise of international human rights monitoring, these techniques have been universalized. Paradoxically, the rise of human rights has fueled the evolution and adaptation of torture. Rejali’s hypothesis is confirmed in the light of recent human rights reports.

torture, human rights, violence, democracy, political theory, 20th-century history, nongovernmental organizations, international law

Citation: Social Justice Vol. 35, No. 3 (2008-09): 143-146