The Deadly Sin of Terrorism: Its Effect on Democracy and Civil Liberty in Six Countries

By David A. Charters | Go to book overview

extent to which those things were influenced or altered either by terrorism or by the response to it is something that can be determined and compared. In the first chapter, which precedes the case studies, Grant Wardlaw provides a philosophical framework for examining these issues. He suggests some general principles, which are intended to link effectiveness to the democratic practices and traditions that the countermeasures are supposed to protect. As such, they comprise useful criteria for comparative assessment of the performance of the countries studied by extrapolating from the evidence provided in the cases studies.

Second, the kinds of countermeasures undertaken, even if somewhat different in form and practice from country to country, are sufficiently similar and common to permit comparison. In the case studies of the individual countries that follow, each author examines four key aspects of the problem: the nature of the international terrorist threat(s) to the country concerned, the political and social settings in which responses were developed, the range of countermeasures and other resources employed and their effectiveness, and the impact of these countermeasures on the democratic character of the state. The countermeasures examined include special powers, negotiations with terrorist groups, international collaborative measures, intelligence methods, target-hardening, and military/ para-military actions. In considering the impact of these measures on the democratic character of the state, the case studies will assess the extent to which they imposed limits on individual rights or restrictions on the media, widened the intrusive investigative powers of police and other security forces, and modified law enforcement and judicial procedures--to the detriment of democracy and civil liberties.

Employing Wardlaw's criteria, the conclusions address three basic issues: the impact of international terrorism on these countries, the effectiveness of the countermeasures employed, and the extent to which those countermeasures preserved or eroded fundamental democratic practices and traditions. In relation both to their effectiveness and to their impact on democracy, the various countermeasures are assessed in a comparative manner The relative merits of each are considered, commonalities and anomalies of experience and results are identified, and some general conclusions are drawn as to their wider appropriateness for democratic counter-terrorism policies. Obviously, the differences in political cultures will ensure that the results or the impact of specific policies and actions will be unique to the country concerned. Even so, in a comparative assessment, uniqueness and commonality may be equally significant, with much to be learned from each. The limitations of the analytical method, however, mean that the conclusions drawn should be considered instructive, but suggestive rather than definitive.


NOTES
1.
Paul Johnson, "The Seven Deadly Sins of Terrorism," in Benjamin Netanyahu, ed., International Terrorism: Challenge and Response ( Jerusalem: Jonathan Institute, 1980), p. 20.

-3-

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The Deadly Sin of Terrorism: Its Effect on Democracy and Civil Liberty in Six Countries
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Recent Tides in Contributions in Political Science ii
  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Preface vii
  • Acknowledgments ix
  • Introduction 1
  • Notes 3
  • 1 - The Democratic Framework 5
  • Notes 10
  • 2 - Great Britain and the Response to International Terrorism 13
  • Introduction 13
  • Conclusions 36
  • Notes 37
  • 3 - Democratic Responses to International Terrorism in Germany 43
  • Introduction 43
  • Conclusions 66
  • Notes 68
  • 4 - Italy and International Terrorism 73
  • Introduction 73
  • Conclusions 95
  • Notes 96
  • 5 - France and International Terrorism: Problem and Response 103
  • Introduction 103
  • Conclusions 126
  • Notes 129
  • 6 - Countering Terrorism in Israel 137
  • Introduction 137
  • Conclusions 162
  • Notes 167
  • 7 - The United States' Response to International Terrorism 173
  • Introduction 173
  • Conclusions 199
  • Notes 203
  • 8 - Conclusions: Security and Liberty in Balance--Countering Terrorism in the Democratic Context 211
  • Notes 226
  • Selected Bibliography 229
  • Index 235
  • Contributors 247
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