Secrecy and Power in the British State

Secrecy and Power in the British State : History of the Official Secrets Act, 1919-89

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In this text, the author argues that the British state uses and misuses the Official Secrets Act to perpetuate the rule of an unrepresentative elite who share narrow class interests. She retrieves the histories of men and women who have been victims of the secret state, revealing how it is their stories, not those in the headlines, which demonstrate how the secret state operates and undermines freedom. These stories are combined with theories on state secrecy which challenge existing assumptions about the British democratic state - it is asserted that a white, male, Oxbridge elite has maintained its grip on power by using "national security" to exclude and limit alternative political views. Looking at how British membership of the European Union may affect the relationship between the state, the citizen and secrecy, the author claims that until a greater understanding of what is happening is achieved, the British state is destined to remain undemocratic in many vital respects.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 240 pages
  • 135 x 215 x 12.7mm | 150g
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • bibliography, index
  • 0745310923
  • 9780745310923

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Table of contents

Rethinking the British secret state; the bureaucratization of secrecy; inventing the enemy 1919-1945; the failure of Cold War security; official secrecy and the press; resistance and reform under Thatcher; the British state and the future of secrecy.
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