The 9/11 terrorist attacks opened America’s eyes to a frightening world of enemies surrounding us. But have our eyes opened wide enough to see how our experiences compare with other nations’ efforts to confront and prevent terrorism? Other democracies have long histories of confronting both international and domestic terrorism. Some have undertaken progressively more stringent counterterrorist measures in the name of national security and the safety of citizens. The Consequences of Counterterrorism examines the political costs and challenges democratic governments face in confronting terrorism.
Using historical and comparative perspectives, The Consequences of Counterterrorism presents thematic analyses as well as case studies of Britain, France, Germany, Spain, Japan, and Israel. Contributor John Finn compares post-9/11 antiterrorism legislation in the United States, Europe, Canada, and India to demonstrate the effects of hastily drawn policies on civil liberties and constitutional norms. Chantal de Jonge Oudraat and Jean-Luc Marret assert that terrorist designation lists are more widespread internationally than ever before. The authors examine why governments and international organizations use such lists, how they work, and why they are ineffective tools. Gallya Lahav shows how immigration policy has become inextricably linked to security in the EU and compares the European fear of internal threats to the American fear of external ones.
A chapter by Dirk Haubrich explains variation in the British government’s willingness to compromise democratic principles according to different threats. In his look at Spain and Northern Ireland, Rogelio Alonso asserts that restricting the rights of those who perpetrate ethnonationalist violence may be acceptable in order to protect the rights of citizens who are victims of such violence. Jeremy Shapiro considers how the French response to terrorist threats has become more coercive during the last fifty years. Israel’s “war model” of counterterrorism has failed, Ami Pedahzur and Arie Perliger argue, and is largely the result of the military elite’s influence on state institutions. Giovanni Cappocia explains how Germany has protected basic norms and institutions. In contrast, David Leheny stresses the significance of change in Japan’s policies.
Preventing and countering terrorism is now a key policy priority for many liberal democratic states. As The Consequences of Counterterrorism makes clear, counterterrorist policies have the potential to undermine the democratic principles, institutions, and processes they seek to preserve.