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Is camera surveillance an effective measure of counterterrorism?


  • Alois Stutzer
  • Michael Zehnder


Camera surveillance has recently gained prominence in policy proposals on combating terrorism. We evaluate the instrument based on a comparative perspective and previous evidence on crime. We expect camera surveillance to have a relatively smaller deterrent effect on terrorism than on other forms of crime. In particular, we emphasize that: (i) terrorists have more opportunities for substitution; (ii) targets under camera surveillance might become more and not less attractive if terrorists aspire media attention; (iii) real-time interventions are limited as behaviour is only understood as suspicious in the light of hindsight; and (iv) closed-circuit television might crowd out social surveillance.

Suggested Citation

  • Alois Stutzer & Michael Zehnder, 2013. "Is camera surveillance an effective measure of counterterrorism?," Defence and Peace Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 24(1), pages 1-14, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:defpea:v:24:y:2013:i:1:p:1-14
    DOI: 10.1080/10242694.2011.650481

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    Cited by:

    1. Stadelmann, David & Portmann, Marco & Eichenberger, Reiner, 2014. "Full Transparency of Politicians' Actions Does Not Increase the Quality of Political Representation," Journal of Experimental Political Science, Cambridge University Press, vol. 1(01), pages 16-23, March.

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