26th March 2004




One of Britain’s leading experts on terrorism will be in Lincoln next month to express his profound concern about what is happening to human rights around the world in the wake of the Madrid bombings.


Professor Paul Wilkinson of the Centre for the Study of Terrorism and Political Violence at the University of St Andrews will give a keynote speech at the annual conference of the Political Studies Association which is being held next month at the University of Lincoln.


In his lecture (6th April, 6.15pm) Professor Wilkinson will criticise pressure groups and lawyers who profess to champion human rights but fail to condemn acts of terrorism by non-state perpetrators.


But he will also criticise governments which fail to condemn regimes which use terrorism as an instrument of policy. He will stress his concern that in the wake of horrific mass-killing attacks by the Al Qaeda network there are voices urging the US and its allies to use terrorism in the so-called War on Terror. 


Professor Wilkinson will argue that if democracies adopt responses to terrorism which are at odds with their basic values of human rights, democracy and the rule of law they will not only lose the moral high ground but also help to create new generations of suicide bombers.


And he is expected to conclude by urging European democracies to remain true to their principles and to ensure that their responses to terrorism are proportionate and in full accord with the values of human rights, democracy, and the rule of law.


The PSA conference at Lincoln (5th – 8th April 2004) will be attended by around 500 political scientists from Britain and around the world. They will hear more than 300 research papers covering a wide range of both domestic and international political topics.


Other subjects under discussion will include the asylum and migration implications of the expansion of the EU, religion and politics and the growth of political marketing.


Full details of the conference programme can be found at www.psa.ac.uk. Journalists wishing to attend the conference or receive advance copies of any of the papers should contact the PSA’s media adviser, Ivor Gaber, on 07730 955690 or 020 8341 7190 (email: ivorgaber@yahoo.co.uk).


For more information contact: Jez Ashberry, Press and Media Relations Manager

University of Lincoln (tel: 01522 886042)                 email: jashberry@lincoln.ac.uk