Does Torture Work?
- ISBN 13:
- ISBN 10:
- Format: Hardcover
- Copyright: 11/02/2015
- Publisher: Oxford University Press
Note: Not guaranteed to come with supplemental materials (access cards, study guides, lab manuals, CDs, etc.)
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Is interrogational torture an effective method of extracting information? How good does the information extracted need to be for the torture to be considered successful? How often or how vigorously must torture be used to achieve valuable information? It may be the case that interrogational torture can never be justified under any circumstances, but, according to John Schiemann, if it is to be justified at all, it must be effective. According to more than one national poll, most Americans do believe that torture can work, and that it can be justified under certain circumstances. But if the information that torturers extract is bad, then the method amounts to nothing more than pure sadism. So, how can we solve the dilemma over whether to torture or not to torture?
In this book, John Schiemann takes a truly unique approach to the question of torture: game theory. Thinking of torture as a "game" played between an interrogator and a detainee, the book walks the reader through the logic of interrogational torture, comparing the outcomes to the claims made by torture proponents. The book draws on a wide variety of sources ranging from records of the Inquisition to secret CIA memos to trace this logic, illustrating each outcome of the model with a narrative from the real world of interrogational torture. Does Torture Work? is an absorbing and provocative take on one of the most discussed human rights and security dilemmas of our time.