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Terrorism Prevention: A General Model


  • Franz Dietrich

    (University of Konstanz)


In this paper, I present and discuss a method for modelling an important trade-off faced by terrorism prevention policies: the trade-off between, on the one hand, trying to reduce people's inclination towards terrorism, and, on the other hand, trying to protect society against existing terrorists. In general, cause-related policies reduce inclination towards terrorism (first goal), involving measures such as raising the standard of living, and symptom-related policies reduce the power of terrorists (second goal), involving measures such as capturing and detaining terrorists. But, crucially, symptom-related policies also affect the inclination towards terrorism, through (desirable) deterrence and (undesirable) 'hate effects'. If 'hate effects' dominate over deterrence, more toughness overall increases inclination, possibly overcompensating the 'capture success'. So, symptom-related policies may face a trade-off between capturing terrorists, and thereby possibly creating new terrorists. Through the modelling method presented, both policy goals are simultaneously taken into account.

Suggested Citation

  • Franz Dietrich, 2004. "Terrorism Prevention: A General Model," Others 0404001, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpot:0404001
    Note: Type of Document - pdf; pages: 31. pdf-file (originally written in latex)

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Sandler, Todd & Tschirhart, John T. & Cauley, Jon, 1983. "A Theoretical Analysis of Transnational Terrorism," American Political Science Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 77(1), pages 36-54, March.
    2. Grofman, Bernard & Feld, Scott L., 1988. "Rousseau's General Will: A Condorcetian Perspective," American Political Science Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 82(2), pages 567-576, June.
    3. Sandler, Todd & Enders, Walter, 2004. "An economic perspective on transnational terrorism," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 20(2), pages 301-316, June.
    4. Jones, Bradford & Radcliff, Benjamin & Taber, Charles & Timpone, Richard, 1995. "Condorcet Winners and the Paradox of Voting: Probability Calculations for Weak Preference Orders," American Political Science Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 89(1), pages 137-144, March.
    5. Christian List, 2005. "The probability of inconsistencies in complex collective decisions," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 24(1), pages 3-32, May.
    6. Bruno S. Frey & Simon Luechinger, "undated". "How to Fight Terrorism: Alternatives to Deterrence," IEW - Working Papers 137, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item


    terrorism; threat; war; symptom-related policy; cause-related policy; development policy; development aid; deterrence; hate effect; trade-off; game theory;

    JEL classification:

    • P - Economic Systems
    • Q - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics
    • Z - Other Special Topics


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