1. Emergency powers on the rise : case studies 2. Critical lessons of history 3. Martial law, emergency doctrines, official lawlessness and judicial complicity 4. Legality and semi-legality: 'models of accommodation' and 'business as usual' 5. Models of extra-legality and illegality : Carl Schmitt's lengthening shadow 6. Capitalism and dictatorial powers : a Marxist critique 7. Britain : 'civil contingencies' and prerogative powers 8. The United States : presidential powers and declarations of emergency 9. Australia : vague emergency plans 10. International human rights law : no protection 11. Conclusions.