Commissions of Inquiry and National Security
Comparative Approaches
by Stuart Farson and Mark Phythian, Editors
December 2010, 355pp, 6 1/8x9 1/4
1 volume, Praeger

Hardcover: 978-0-313-38468-4
$66, £49, 55€, A95
eBook Available: 978-0-313-38469-1
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

A number of high-profile commissions of inquiry have recently been announced or are already underway in a range of countries, including the United States, the United Kingdom, and Canada. Additionally, the events of the Bush and Blair administrations’ “War on Terror” are expected to yield further controversial commissions of inquiry.

This text presents a comparative, international study of commissions of inquiry that have been convened in response to extraordinary failures and scandals.

In recent years, commissions of inquiry have been common to the politics of the United States, Britain, Canada, and Australia. Recent years have seen a much wider range of states establish commissions of inquiry into intelligence and security issues, and they have also played important roles in transitions in Latin America and Eastern Europe. Commissions of inquiry are no longer even the exclusive preserve of states, as transnational institutions such as the United Nations and European Union have begun to convoke them.

This groundbreaking book comprehensively examines commissions of inquiry around the world, which have become important and increasingly invoked tools to discover truth, curb abuses, and reconcile national security imperatives with the constraints of law and human rights. It offers timely insights for national security analysts, government officials, diplomats, lawyers, scholars, human rights monitors, students, and citizens.


  • Gathers the expert opinions of 18 internationally recognized experts on the subject of commissions of inquiry
  • Each chapter describes the specific circumstances surrounding the creation of the commission, the commission process and politics of investigation, the methods used to establish conclusions, the political consequences and impact, and the various debates regarding its purpose
Stuart Farson is adjunct professor of political science and research associate of the Institute for Governance Studies at Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, BC, Canada. His published works include PSI Handbook of Global Security and Intelligence: National Approaches and Security and Intelligence in a Changing World: New Perspectives for the 1990s.

Mark Phythian is professor of politics in the Department of Politics and International Relations at the University of Leicester, UK. His published works include Arming Iraq: How the U.S. and Britain Secretly Built Saddam's War Machine; The Labour Party; War and International Relations,1945-2006; and Intelligence and National Security Policymaking on Iraq: British and American Perspectives.

Praeger Security International

International security in the 21st century is not a topic that can be adequately addressed in nightly news soundbites or online articles intended to be relevant for 24 hours or less. Comprehending these complex issues requires insight from foreign policy specialists, diplomats, military officials, peace scholars, historians, and security experts—participants and observers on all sides of each conflict. This series provides the tools for understanding security issues in our uncertain, unstable world.

Covering global hot spots from Iran to Venezuela and subjects ranging from terrorism and cyber warfare to food security, books in the Praeger Security International series give readers access to carefully considered and highly informed viewpoints on the critical security issues that threaten to destabilize our world. With titles authored by diplomats, academic researchers, journalists, military leaders and combatants, legal experts, psychologists, and other knowledgeable specialists, these books offer in-depth analysis and international perspectives that are unavailable in the mass media. These titles represent an invaluable resource for students, researchers, and policymakers as well as for anyone who seeks a deeper understanding of the complex issues that affect our lives and future.


• Provides reliable, comprehensive information on all matters relating to security that is ideal for students, teachers, researchers, and professionals • Offers insightful commentaries written by a diverse group of scholars and experts who provide interdisciplinary treatments of newsworthy events and important historical occurrences
By clicking “Accept All Cookies”, you agree to the storing of cookies on your device to enhance site navigation, analyze site usage, and assist in our marketing efforts.
Accept All Cookies | Decline.