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Terrorism: Deterrence May Backfire


Frey, Bruno S; Luechinger, Simon (2002). Terrorism: Deterrence May Backfire. Working paper series / Institute for Empirical Research in Economics No. 136, University of Zurich.

Abstract

Present anti-terrorist policy concentrates almost exclusively on deterrence. It seeks to fend off terrorism by raising the cost of undertaking terrorist acts. This paper argues that deterrence policy is less effective than generally thoughtnand induces in some cases even more terrorism. This is, in particular, the case if deterrence policy induces a centralisation of decision-making in the polity and economy. Therefore, an effective anti-terrorist policy should focus more on reducing the expected benefits of terrorist acts to prospective terrorists. Such a policy is based on strengthening rather than weakening decentralised decision-making.

Present anti-terrorist policy concentrates almost exclusively on deterrence. It seeks to fend off terrorism by raising the cost of undertaking terrorist acts. This paper argues that deterrence policy is less effective than generally thoughtnand induces in some cases even more terrorism. This is, in particular, the case if deterrence policy induces a centralisation of decision-making in the polity and economy. Therefore, an effective anti-terrorist policy should focus more on reducing the expected benefits of terrorist acts to prospective terrorists. Such a policy is based on strengthening rather than weakening decentralised decision-making.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Working Paper
Communities & Collections:03 Faculty of Economics > Department of Economics
Working Paper Series > Institute for Empirical Research in Economics (former)
Dewey Decimal Classification:330 Economics
Language:English
Date:December 2002
Deposited On:29 Nov 2011 21:26
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 15:10
Series Name:Working paper series / Institute for Empirical Research in Economics
ISSN:1424-0459
Official URL:http://www.econ.uzh.ch/wp.html
Permanent URL: https://doi.org/10.5167/uzh-52034

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