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Public Safety and the Moral Dilemma in the Defense Against Terror

  • Franck, Raphael
  • Hillman, Arye L.
  • Krausz, Miriam

The economic theory of defense has traditionally described public safety as achieved through investments that deter adversaries. Deterrence is however ineffective, and preemptive defense is required, when a population of intended victims confronts supreme-value suicide terror. A moral dilemma then arises, since preemption may impose collective punishment, while, in the absence of preemption, the population of intended victims is exposed to acts of terror. We consider how a population of intended terror victims confronts the moral dilemma, and compare the threatened population’s response with the public-safety recommendations of external judges who are not personally affected by the threat of terror.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 4736.

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Date of creation: Nov 2004
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:4736
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  1. Ben-Yashar, Ruth & Nitzan, Shmuel, 2001. " Investment Criteria in Single and Multi-member Economic Organizations," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 109(1-2), pages 1-13, October.
  2. Hillman,Arye L., 2009. "Public Finance and Public Policy," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521738057.
  3. Arye L. Hillman, 2004. "Nietzschean Development Failures," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 119(3_4), pages 263-280, 06.
  4. James Yetman, 2004. "Suicidal Terrorism And Discriminatory Screening: An Efficiency-Equity Trade-Off," Defence and Peace Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 15(3), pages 221-230.
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