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Collective versus unilateral responses to terrorism


  • Todd Sandler



Global terrorism presents collective action issues for targeted nations. Proactive measures (e.g., preemptive strikes) against terrorists create external benefits for all at-risk nations. In contrast, defensive actions deflect attacks to softer targets, thereby giving rise to external benefits to protected foreign residents and external costs to venues abroad. Coordinated antiterrorism measures are particularly difficult to achieve when many nations must participate and nonparticipants can undo the efforts of others. Thus, freezing terrorists’ assets or abiding by a no-negotiation pledge pose difficult collective action problems. These same concerns do not plague decisive action against domestic terrorism. Copyright Springer Science + Business Media, Inc. 2005

Suggested Citation

  • Todd Sandler, 2005. "Collective versus unilateral responses to terrorism," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 124(1), pages 75-93, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:pubcho:v:124:y:2005:i:1:p:75-93
    DOI: 10.1007/s11127-005-4747-y

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