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Counterterrorism And Its Impact On Terror Support And Recruitment: Accounting For Backlash


  • João Ricardo Faria
  • Daniel Arce


This article presents a dynamic model in which counterterrorism policies have the potential to generate positive public support for terrorism via a backlash that may fuel terror recruitment. For an optimizing government aiming at maximizing security, this phenomenon produces a natural bound on proactive counterterror policy that is related to the dynamic path of conflict. Moreover, terror is a persistent phenomenon that requires patience on the part of the target government for optimal counterterror policies to be realized. Finally, the potential for backlash yields insights into the need for target governments to fight an information war to change public opinion regarding its own policies and the ultimate effect of terror attacks.

Suggested Citation

  • João Ricardo Faria & Daniel Arce, 2012. "Counterterrorism And Its Impact On Terror Support And Recruitment: Accounting For Backlash," Defence and Peace Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 23(5), pages 431-445, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:defpea:v:23:y:2012:i:5:p:431-445
    DOI: 10.1080/10242694.2011.604930

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Michael McBride & Gary Richardson, 2012. "Stopping Suicide Attacks: Optimal Strategies and Unintended Consequences," Defence and Peace Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 23(5), pages 413-429, October.
    2. Karen Pittel & Dirk T.G. Rübbelke, 2012. "Decision processes of a suicide bomber—the economics and psychology of attacking and defecting," Defence and Peace Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 23(3), pages 251-272, June.
    3. Bruno S. Frey, 2004. "Dealing with Terrorism – Stick or Carrot?," Books, Edward Elgar Publishing, number 3435.
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    Cited by:

    1. Hamid Mohtadi, 2017. "Risk‐Mitigating Policies and Adversarial Behavior: Case of Backlash," Risk Analysis, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 37(3), pages 459-470, March.
    2. Timothy Mathews & Aniruddha Bagchi & João Ricardo Faria, 2019. "Simple analytics of the impact of terror generation on attacker–defender interactions," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 179(3), pages 287-299, June.
    3. Bayón, L. & Fortuny Ayuso, P. & García-Nieto, P.J. & Grau, J.M. & Ruiz, M.M., 2019. "Optimal control of counter-terrorism tactics," Applied Mathematics and Computation, Elsevier, vol. 347(C), pages 477-491.
    4. Artyom Jelnov, 2019. "Note on terrorist factions and their interactions with governments," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 39(2), pages 1318-1326.
    5. João Ricardo Faria & Andreas Novak & Aniruddha Bagchi & Timothy Mathews, 2020. "The Refugee Game: The Relationship between Individual Security Expenditures and Collective Security," Games, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 11(2), pages 1-13, June.

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