A Political Economy Approach
New Horizons in Law and Economics series
Edited by Alain Marciano and Jean-Michel Josselin
Bruno S. Frey and Simon Luechinger* INTRODUCTION Terrorism may well be the curse of our times. Recent events suggest that the topic will be high on the political agenda for many years to come. Terrorism is nothing new, however. In many countries in the world, the phenomenon has been prevalent for many decades. Pertinent examples are the acts of terrorism taking place in the Basque Country, Northern Ireland and Palestine. France exempliﬁes the situation faced by many countries: besides domestic separatist groups, like the Front de Libération Nationale de la Corse and the Armée de Libération de la Bretagne and domestic (left-wing) terrorist organizations like Action Directe, to name just a few, various foreign terrorist organizations committed acts of terrorism (see also Figure 6.2, below). But, since September 11, issues of terrorism have become even more prominent.1 There are virtually hundreds of deﬁnitions of terrorism, and there is no consensus of opinion as to which is the most relevant one (see, for example, Schmid and Jongman 1988; Badey 1998; and Hoﬀman 1998). We follow a pragmatic approach to determine what terrorism is. This allows us to interpret and integrate new phenomena, and provoke further thought on the matter. Moreover, any deﬁnition should depend on the issue to be analysed and therefore cannot be generalized. For the purpose of measuring terrorism, the following elements are crucial: the perpetrators 1. 2. 3. 4. use force on civilians; act in an unoﬃcial capacity. They are,...
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