Anti-terrorism politics and the risk of provoking

Journal of Theoretical Politics 3 (26):405-41 (2014)
Download Edit this record How to cite View on PhilPapers
Tough anti-terrorism policies are often defended by focusing on a fixed minority of the population who prefer violent outcomes, and arguing that toughness reduces the risk of terrorism from this group. This reasoning implicitly assumes that tough policies do not increase the group of 'potential terrorists', i.e., of people with violent preferences. Preferences and their level of violence are treated as stable, exogenously fixed features. To avoid this unrealis- tic assumption, I formulate a model in which policies can 'brutalise' or 'appease' someone's personality, i.e., his preferences. This follows the endogenous prefer- ences approach, popular elsewhere in political science and economics. I formally decompose the effect of toughness into a (desirable) deterrence effect and an (un- desirable) provocation effect. Whether toughness is overall effi cient depends on which effect overweighs. I show that neglecting provocation typically leads to toughness exaggeration. This suggests that some tough anti-terrorism policies observable in the present and past can be explained by a neglect of provocation.
PhilPapers/Archive ID
Upload history
First archival date: 2020-04-18
Latest version: 2 (2020-04-24)
View other versions
Added to PP index

Total views
54 ( #64,123 of 72,527 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
7 ( #67,452 of 72,527 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads since first upload
This graph includes both downloads from PhilArchive and clicks on external links on PhilPapers.