The moral hazard of terrorism prevention

Tiberiu Dragu

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Abstract

    How does a policy of reacting to terrorist attacks with restrictions on free speech protections affect the likelihood of terrorism in the first place? In this article, I develop a dynamic model of an interaction between a security agency and a terrorist organization to study the dynamic consequences of adopting policies that curtail free speech protections and other rights when terror strikes. The article shows that in a world in which democratic governments respond to major terrorist attacks with restrictions on freedom of expression and other rights and liberties, such policies have perverse effects on the pre-Attack incentives of terrorism prevention/occurrence, which can make a terrorist attack more likely. The analysis suggests that a commitment to respecting fundamental rights and liberties in times of duress can be security-beneficial: If liberal societies were to remain faithful to their fundamental values in the aftermath of terrorist attacks, such a strategy can decrease the probability of a terrorist attack in the first place.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)223-236
    Number of pages14
    JournalJournal of Politics
    Volume79
    Issue number1
    DOIs
    StatePublished - Jan 1 2017

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    terrorism
    fundamental right
    strike
    incentive
    commitment
    organization
    interaction
    society
    Values
    time

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Sociology and Political Science

    Cite this

    The moral hazard of terrorism prevention. / Dragu, Tiberiu.

    In: Journal of Politics, Vol. 79, No. 1, 01.01.2017, p. 223-236.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Dragu, Tiberiu. / The moral hazard of terrorism prevention. In: Journal of Politics. 2017 ; Vol. 79, No. 1. pp. 223-236.
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