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Fighting Political Terrorism by Refusing Recognition


  • Frey, Bruno S.


Terrorists act rationally; one of their dominating goals is to attract public attention to their cause. As a consequence, the authorities should refrain from attributing a particular terrorist incident to any one group. They should stress that many different actors must be considered as the possible perpetrators. Such an information policy sharply reduces terrorists'rewards. The terrorists are therefore likely to cut down on such activities or must undertake riskier acts, which increase their chance of being caught. The approach suggested is complementary to the policies currently in use; it does not make police measures unnecessary. The strategy is, however, active while the traditional approaches are passive responses to terrorist activities. In contrast to other anti-terrrorist measures, it does not violate human liberties, civil rights or the freedom of the press.

Suggested Citation

  • Frey, Bruno S., 1987. "Fighting Political Terrorism by Refusing Recognition," Journal of Public Policy, Cambridge University Press, vol. 7(2), pages 179-188, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:cup:jnlpup:v:7:y:1987:i:02:p:179-188_00

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    Cited by:

    1. Friedrich Schneider & Tilman Brück & Daniel Meierrieks, 2015. "The Economics Of Counterterrorism: A Survey," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 29(1), pages 131-157, February.
    2. Azam Jean-Paul & Ferrero Mario, 2016. "Killing for the Sake of Infamy: The Herostratos Syndrome and what to Do about it," Peace Economics, Peace Science, and Public Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 22(4), pages 357-364, December.
    3. Daniel Milton, 2020. "Fatal attraction: explaining variation in the attractiveness of Islamic State propaganda," Conflict Management and Peace Science, Peace Science Society (International), vol. 37(4), pages 430-450, July.

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