Politics and the Suboptimal Provision of Counterterror
AbstractI present a model of interactions between voters, a government, and a terrorist organization. The model focuses on a previously unexplored conceptualization of counterterrorism as divided into tactic-specific observable and general unobservable tactics. When there is divergence between voters and government preferences, strategic substitution among different modes of attack by terrorists and agency problems between the voters and government create a situation in which the politically optimal counterterrorism strategy pursued by the government in response to electoral and institutional incentives is quite different from the security maximizing counterterrorism strategy. In particular, in response to electoral pressure, the government allocates resources to observable counterterror in excess of the social optimum. This problem is particularly severe when governments put great weight on rent-seeking or care less about counterterror than do voters and when terrorists have a large set of tactics from which to choose. Voters can decrease the magnitude of the agency problem by increasing the benefits of reelection by, for example, slackening requirements for nonsecurity related public goods.I have received valuable comments and advice from Bruce Bueno de Mesquita, Randy Calvert, Martin Cripps, James Fearon, Amanda Friedenberg, Robert Powell, Matthew Stephenson, and Barbara Walter. I thank the Weidenbaum Center on the Economy, Government, and Public Policy at Washington University for financial support.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by Cambridge University Press in its journal International Organization.
Volume (Year): 61 (2007)
Issue (Month): 01 (January)
Contact details of provider:
Postal: The Edinburgh Building, Shaftesbury Road, Cambridge CB2 2RU UK
Fax: +44 (0)1223 325150
Web page: http://journals.cambridge.org/jid_INOProvider-Email:email@example.com
You can help add them by filling out this form.
CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
- Sandeep Baliga & Tomas Sjostrom, 2012.
"The Strategy of Manipulating Conflict,"
American Economic Review,
American Economic Association, vol. 102(6), pages 2897-2922, October.
- Meyer Sunniva F., 2011. "Preventing Mass Killings: Determining the Optimal Allocation of Security Resources between Crowded Targets," Peace Economics, Peace Science, and Public Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 17(1), pages 1-37, September.
- Thomas Jensen, 2012. "National Responses to Transnational Terrorism: Intelligence and Counterterrorism Provision," Discussion Papers 12-22, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.
- Tiberiu Dragu & Mattias Polborn, 2009. "Terrorism Prevention and Electoral Accountability," CESifo Working Paper Series 2864, CESifo Group Munich.
- John Cadigan & Pamela Schmitt, 2010. "Strategic entry deterrence and terrorism: Theory and experimental evidence," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 143(1), pages 3-22, April.
- Roland Hodler & Dominic Rohner, 2012. "Electoral terms and terrorism," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 150(1), pages 181-193, January.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Keith Waters).
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.