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Mental Health in the War on TerrorCulture, Science, and Statecraft$
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Neil Aggarwal

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780231166645

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231166645.001.0001

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Knowledge and Practice in War on Terror Deradicalization Programs

Knowledge and Practice in War on Terror Deradicalization Programs

(p.133) 6 Knowledge and Practice in War on Terror Deradicalization Programs
Mental Health in the War on Terror

Neil Krishan Aggarwal

Columbia University Press

This chapter discusses the criticisms of philosopher Michel Foucault on the relationship between mental health institutions and the national government. Foucault criticizes psychiatrists and psychologists for conspiring with the state in providing suggestions and information concerning treatment for psychologically distressed suspects of terrorism. He believes that mental health professionals are subsidiary authorities within small-scale legal systems, that they act as “adviser[s] in punishment [who make] judgments of normality, attributions of causality, assessments of possible changes, anticipations as to the offender's [suspect's] future.” He asserts that the government's knowledge of a detainee's mental health implies the shift of the state's imposition of power from the suspects' body (torture) to their mind (torment).

Keywords:   Michel Foucault, mental health professionals, subsidiary authorities, terrorism, psychiatrists, psychologists

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