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Notions of Insecurity and Security Policy within the EU: A Historical Perspective


  • Regina Heller


This paper maps notions of insecurity and security policy within the European Union (EU), with a particular emphasis on terrorism and organised crime. The analysis reveals manifold and sometimes diverse dynamics with regard to threat perceptions and policy preferences of European political agents. Both notional changes and continuities are characteristic for the development of threat perceptions in Europe since the 1990s. Only recently, official statements have become informed by economic thinking. European counter-terrorism and anti-crime policies experienced a 'learning curve', significantly influenced and pushed by the creation of the European Area of Freedom, Security and Justice. Overall, a number of indicators can be extracted from the analysis that hint at underlying logics according to which notions of insecurity are shaped and which, more generally, guide the economics of security.

Suggested Citation

  • Regina Heller, 2009. "Notions of Insecurity and Security Policy within the EU: A Historical Perspective," Economics of Security Working Paper Series 4, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:diw:diweos:diweos4

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Eckstein, Zvi & Tsiddon, Daniel, 2004. "Macroeconomic consequences of terror: theory and the case of Israel," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(5), pages 971-1002, July.
    2. Abadie, Alberto & Gardeazabal, Javier, 2008. "Terrorism and the world economy," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 52(1), pages 1-27, January.
    3. Enders, Walter & Sandler, Todd, 1996. "Terrorism and Foreign Direct Investment in Spain and Greece," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 49(3), pages 331-352.
    4. Tavares, Jose, 2004. "The open society assesses its enemies: shocks, disasters and terrorist attacks," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(5), pages 1039-1070, July.
    5. Alan B. Krueger & Jitka Maleckova, 2003. "Education, Poverty and Terrorism: Is There a Causal Connection?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 17(4), pages 119-144, Fall.
    6. Drakos, Konstantinos & Kutan, Ali M., 2001. "Regional effects of terrorism on tourism: Evidence from three Mediterranean countries," ZEI Working Papers B 26-2001, University of Bonn, ZEI - Center for European Integration Studies.
    7. Llussá, Fernanda & Tavares, José, 2007. "Economics and Terrorism: What We Know, What We Should Know and the Data We Need," CEPR Discussion Papers 6509, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    8. Vimal Kumar & Stergios Skaperdas, 2008. "On The Economics oF Organized Crime," Working Papers 070815, University of California-Irvine, Department of Economics.
    9. Bruno Frey & Simon Luechinger & Alois Stutzer, 2009. "The life satisfaction approach to valuing public goods: The case of terrorism," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 138(3), pages 317-345, March.
    10. Eli Berman & David Laitin, 2005. "Hard Targets: Theory and Evidence on Suicide Attacks," NBER Working Papers 11740, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    Cited by:

    1. Friedrich Schneider & Tilman Brück & Daniel Meierrieks, 2010. "The Economics of Terrorism and Counter-Terrorism: A Survey (Part I)," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 1049, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    2. Michael Brzoska & Raphael Bossong & Eric van Um, 2011. "Security Economics in the European Context: Implications of the EUSECON Project," Economics of Security Working Paper Series 58, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.

    More about this item


    Costs of insecurity; European Union; human-induced insecurity; notions of insecurity; organised crime; public policy; security policy; terrorism;

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