Leadership Fellows

Professor Tom Sorell

University of Warwick

Ethics and Security: Terrorism and Transnational Organised Crime

Tom Sorell is Professor of Politics and Philosophy and Head of the Interdisciplinary Ethics Research Group at the University of Warwick. His research interests include moral and political philosophy and has published extensively on the subject. His current research is in the moral and political issues raised by emergencies, including terrorist emergencies.

Previously, he was Director of the Centre for the Study of Global Ethics at the University of Birmingham and a Fellow in Ethics at Harvard. He was Co-ordinator of the FP7 DETECTER project and is leader of two Work Packages in the FP7 SURVEILLE project.

Tom also directs the FinCris project and is a participant in the FP7 ICT ACCOMPANY project on care robotics.

Project Summary

Tom’s Global Uncertainties Leadership Fellowship is entitled Ethics and Security: Terrorism and Transnational Organised Crime and involves ethical research into terrorism and transnational organised crime and consultations with researchers on other Partnership projects, especially EPSRC supported projects, to help them identify and accommodate ethical risks.
The project focuses on preventive counter-terrorism activity and preventive action against organised crime, in particular the problems surrounding the interpretation of proportionateness in preventive police operations.
It explores the claim that preventive counter-terrorism moves policing unjustly in the direction of pre-cognition of crime and abandoning the presumption of innocence.

It also investigates critically the supposed special connections between justice and reactive policing, and the supposed tensions between justice and security as the presiding values of policing. The moral differences between terrorism and some of the main kinds of organised crime are also discussed.

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