Inderscience Publishers

Defence against the dark arts: how the British response to the terrorist threat is parodied in J K Rowling's "Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince"

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One explanation for the attraction of the Harry Potter books to the adult population could be that Rowling's description of an alternative society and its government traces recent events in contemporary society. The political thread going through the series largely focuses on the way in which the Ministry of Magic deals with Lord Voldemort's return. This paper examines the various aspects of the UK government's response to the terrorist threat and draws parallels between Rowling's depiction of anti-Voldemort security measures in the Potter books and the legal and political developments in the area of counter-terrorism in the UK since 2001.

Keywords: Harry Potter, surveillance, communication interception, detention, internment, identity cards, security theatre, J K Rowling, UK government, terrorist threat, terrorism, security measures, United Kingdom, Ministry of Magic, Lord Voldemort

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