Liberal Communitarian Approach to Privacy and Security

  • Amitai Etzioni
Part of the Palgrave Macmillan’s Studies in Cybercrime and Cybersecurity book series (PSCYBER)


Liberal communitarian philosophy (developed by the author2) assumes that nations face several fully legitimate normative and legal claims and that these claims can be neither maximized nor fully reconciled, as there is an inevitable tension among them. It follows that society must work out some balance among the conflicting claims rather than assume that one will always trump the others. This chapter applies this approach to the balance between security and privacy.3


National Security Civil Liberty Security Measure Fourth Amendment Transportation Security Administration 
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  1. 2.
    See Amitai Etzioni, The New Golden Rule: Community and Morality in a Democratic Society (New York: Basic Books, 1996).Google Scholar
  2. 3.
    I have previously discussed this balance in the context of privacy and public health, public safety, sex offenders, and freedom of the press, among other rights. See Amitai Etzioni, The Limits of Privacy (New York: Basic Books, 1999);Google Scholar
  3. Amitai Etzioni, “The Privacy Merchants: What Is To Be Done?” Journal of Constitutional Law 14, 4 (March 2012): 929–51; andGoogle Scholar
  4. Amitai Etzioni, How Patriotic Is the Patriot Act?: Freedom versus Security in the Age of Terrorism (New York: Routledge, 2004).Google Scholar
  5. 6.
    David R. Jones, “Party Polarization and Legislative Gridlock,” Political Research Quarterly 54, 1 (March 2001): 125–41.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 8.
    Stewart Baker, Skating on Stilts: Why We Aren’t Stopping Tomorrows Terrorism (Stanford, CA: Hoover Institution Press, 2010): 27.Google Scholar
  7. 9.
    Marc Rotenberg, “Restoring a Public Interest Vision of Law in the Age of the Internet,” Duke Law & Technology Review 7 (2004): 7–15.Google Scholar
  8. 30.
    Jeffrey Rosen, “The Naked Crowd: Balancing Privacy and Security in an Age of Terror,” Arizona Law Review 46 (2004): 611.Google Scholar

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© Amitai Etzioni 2015

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  • Amitai Etzioni

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