Instead of meeting the state’s obligation to protect its citizens, governments throughout the West are calling for more flexibility in areas of life regulated by market forces. One consequence of the retreat of the state is a crisis of legitimacy, which states seek to regain through their response to terrorism. In the Middle East, meanwhile, a gulf has developed between an elite that has profited from Westernization and the impoverished masses. It is the latter who, in the name of religion, are lured into anti-Western extremism, thus perpetuating the vicious circle of insecurity.
13 December 2006