The Official Record

Oversight, national security and democracy

Edited by Peter Finn and Robert Ledger

The Official Record
Hardcover -
  • Price: £85.00
  • ISBN: 9781526174321
  • Publish Date: May 2024
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Pre-Order £85.00

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    Book Information

    • Format: Hardcover
    • ISBN: 978-1-5261-7432-1
    • Pages: 176
    • Price: £85.00
    • Published Date: May 2024


    The construction, control and preservation of the Official Record is inherently contested. Those seeking greater openness and (democratic) accountability argue 'sunlight is [...] the best of disinfectants', while others seek stricter information control because, to their mind, sound government arises when advice and policy are formulated secretly. This edited volume explores the intersection of the Official Record, oversight, national security and democracy. Through US, UK and Canadian case studies, this volume will benefit higher level undergraduate readers and above to explore the Official Record in the context of the national security operations of democratic states. All chapters are research-based pieces of original writing that feature a document appendix containing primary documents (often excerpts) that are key to a chapter's narrative. As a result, this book interrogates the boundaries between national security, accountability, oversight, and the Official Record.


    Preface: Defining and 'Reading' the Official Record - Peter Finn and Robert Ledger

    Introduction: The Official Record, Oversight, National Security and Democracy - Peter Finn and Robert Ledger

    1 'The Scarlet A': assassination and the US Official Record from the Cold War to 9/11 - Luca Trenta
    2 How public inquiries and scandals reshaped UK foreign and aid policy - Robert Ledger
    3 Containing Hugo Chávez: insights from the WikiLeaks cables - RubrickBiegon
    4 'Caveats were Down': The Canadian Official Record and the treatment of Maher Arar - Peter Finn
    5 Targeted Killing: The constitutionality of killing US citizens - Christine Sixta Rinehart
    6 The Chilcot Inquiry: political-legal tensions in going to war and the art of the possible for the public record - Louise Kettle
    7 'It's Mueller Time': The Mueller investigation, the Official Record, and the rule of law - Peter Finn

    Afterword - Peter Finn and Robert Ledger


    Peter Finn is Senior Lecturer in the Department of Criminology, Politics and Sociology at Kingston University.
    Robert Ledger is a guest researcher at Goethe University Frankfurt.

    The Official Record

    Edited by Peter Finn, Robert Ledger

    Hardcover £85.00 / $130.00

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