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Public Affairs, Public Policy and Public Administration

Christopher J Einolf

Democracy

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Explaining Abu Ghraib: A Review Essay, Christopher J. Einolf Dec 2008

Explaining Abu Ghraib: A Review Essay, Christopher J. Einolf

Christopher J Einolf

Four books written by social scientists and published in 2007 are reviewed: The Trials of Abu Ghraib: An Expert Witness Account of Shame and Honor, by Stjepan Mestrovic; The Lucifer Effect, by Philip Zimbardo; Torture and the Twilight of Empire : From Algiers to Baghdad, by Marnia Lazreg; and Torture and Democracy, by Darius Rejali. Prior research on torture has left unsettled the question of the importance of training and direct orders as causes of torture, and the role of liberal democratic institutions in preventing torture. The four books demonstrate that the Abu Ghraib torturers did not act on their initiative ...