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Appeasing nihilists? Some economic thoughts on reducing terrorist activity

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  • Jan Schnellenbach

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Abstract

Recent contributions to the economics of terrorism have given contradicting recommendations for campaigning against terrorism, from the proposal to deprive terrorists of their resources to the proposal of raising the opportunity costs of terrorism by increasing the wealth of the affected regions. Within a simple framework which differentiates between the decision to become an active terrorist and the decision to support terrorists and which allows for reciprocal reactions to anti-terrorism policies, it is argued here that undifferentiated deterrence may indeed backfire, but so may an increase of the opportunity costs of terrorism. A very targeted anti-terrorism policy aimed only at active terrorists would then be the most reasonable remaining approach. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media, B.V. 2006

Suggested Citation

  • Jan Schnellenbach, 2006. "Appeasing nihilists? Some economic thoughts on reducing terrorist activity," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 129(3), pages 301-313, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:pubcho:v:129:y:2006:i:3:p:301-313
    DOI: 10.1007/s11127-006-9029-9
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    Cited by:

    1. Fischer, Justina AV, 2010. "Immigration, integration and terrorism: is there a clash of cultures?," MPRA Paper 27690, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Dreher, Axel & Fischer, Justina AV, 2007. "Decentralization as a disincentive for transnational terror? An empirical test," SSE/EFI Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance 686, Stockholm School of Economics.
    3. Axel Dreher & Justina Fischer, 2008. "Decentralization as a disincentive for transnational terror? System stability versus government efficiency: an empirical test," TWI Research Paper Series 41, Thurgauer Wirtschaftsinstitut, Universität Konstanz.
    4. Axel Dreher & Justina A.V. Fischer, 2008. "Decentralization as a Disincentive for Transnational Terror?," KOF Working papers 08-185, KOF Swiss Economic Institute, ETH Zurich.
    5. Axel Dreher & Justina A. V. Fischer, 2010. "Government Decentralization As A Disincentive For Transnational Terror? An Empirical Analysis," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 51(4), pages 981-1002, November.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Terrorism; Deterrence; Reciprocity; Anti-terrorism policies;

    JEL classification:

    • H56 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - National Security and War

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