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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

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Article provided by Springer in its journal Public Choice.

Volume (Year): 124 (2005)
Issue (Month): 1 (July)
Pages: 75-93

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Handle: RePEc:kap:pubcho:v:124:y:2005:i:1:p:75-93
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  1. Lee, Dwight R, 1988. "Free Riding and Paid Riding in the Fight against Terrorism," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(2), pages 22-26, May.
  2. Lapan, Harvey E. & Sandler, Todd, 1993. "Terrorism and Signalling," Staff General Research Papers 10808, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  3. Enders, Walter & Sandler, Todd, 1995. "Terrorism: Theory and applications," Handbook of Defense Economics, in: Keith Hartley & Todd Sandler (ed.), Handbook of Defense Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 9, pages 213-249 Elsevier.
  4. Sandler, Todd & Lapan, Harvey E., 1988. "The Calculus of Dissent: An Analysis of Terrorists' Choice of Targets," Staff General Research Papers 10818, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  5. Todd Sandler, 2003. "Collective Action and Transnational Terrorism," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 26(6), pages 779-802, 06.
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