How Did 9/11 Really Change the World?

Marking the 10th anniversary of the September 11th, 2001 tragedies that left 3,000 dead in three locations on American soil, a commissioned set of essays have been published in the September 2011 issue of the Geographical Journal that explore the ways our world has changed since the series of events that transpired that fateful Tuesday morning.

For most of us who remember exactly where we were when the news was reported (or directly witnessed), there was no doubt that some drastic turning point in history was taking place then and there while most of us around the country — and the world — were left helpless to do much more than watch and wonder and worry for those in peril. But how did 9/11 really change the world, and what are the effects we’re feeling a decade later in that dreaded day’s aftermath?

How Did 9/11 Really Change the World?These essays, edited by Simon Dalby of Carleton University and written by geographers and social scientists including Derek Gregory and Neil Smith, tend to agree that the world did change after 9/11, but in ways not necessarily expected by pundits, “experts,” and public, alike. They suggest that three factors are important in understanding 9/11’s legacy: acceleration, intensification, and opportunism.

Acceleration pertains to the event’s role as a catalyst for creating and enforcing new legislation for counter-terrorism, surveillance, and public policy.

Intensification is how projects designed before the events of 9/11 to monitor and secure activity and travel around national borders escalated in expenditure and scrutiny.

Opportunism describes how the the events of 9/11 led to the establishment of the terrorist detention center at Guantanamo Bay and bogus WMD (weapons of mass destruction) intelligence allowed for public perception to sanction the 9/11-unrelated, 2003 invasion of Iraq.

Remember the 10th anniversary of 9/11 in your own way, read the essays, and come to your own conclusions at the Geographical Journal.

Photo above by Cyrettin Yüreklikatır

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Our resident "Bob" (pictured here through the lens of photographer Jason DeFillippo) is in love with a woman who talks to animals. He has a fondness for belting out songs about seafaring and whiskey (arguably inappropriate in most social situations). He's arm-wrestled robots and won. He was born in a lighthouse on the storm-tossed shores of an island that has since been washed away and forgotten, so he's technically a citizen of nowhere. He's never killed in anger. He once underwent therapy for having an alien in his face, but he assures us that he's now feeling "much better." Fogarty also claims that he was once marooned along a tiny archipelago and survived for months using only his wits and a machete, but we find that a little hard to believe.

  • Anonymous

    owaaaaw ,I just got a $829.99 iPad2 for only $103.37 and my mom got a $1499.99 HDTV for only $251.92, they are both coming with USPS tomorrow. I would be an idiot to ever pay full retail prices at places like Walmart or Bestbuy. I sold a 37″ HDTV to my boss for $600 that I only paid $78.24 for. I use

  • Andrew Jamison

    Because sadly we live in a Consumer driven society where tragedies such as this are more or less talked about for a few weeks then forgotten in local media outlets. Why is there not more action taken, Maybe people are afraid of the outcry that could follow similar to the reaction to prohibition.

    Alternatively it could be that (as much as i hate saying it) we have grown numb to this type of tragedy and do not give it enough attention.

    What ever the reason I tend to agree with you that something more should be done however based on our history its not likely to happen unless some huge event killing thousands of people in a single incident were to happen as a result of drunk driving..

  • Curtis Coburn

    I could not agree more. If people want a change, something big needs to happen… sadly.