Chapter 6: Providing Positive Incentives Not to Engage in Terrorism
POSITIVE AND NEGATIVE SANCTIONS Basic Issues The dominant logic in both the literature and the practice of antiterrorism always takes ‘sanctions’ to be negative. The threat of punishment is part and parcel of deterrence policy. The intention is to dissuade actual and potential terrorists from undertaking terrorist acts, by making it clear that this involves heavy costs to them. But terrorists can also be deterred from their activities by rewarding them for abstaining from violent acts. In such a case, the sanctions used are positive. In economic theory, positive and negative sanctions are, in principle, considered to be symmetric. Both change the opportunity set of the units sanctioned. An increase in relative costs induces those being sanctioned to systematically reduce the corresponding activity (generalised relative price eﬀect). The symmetry is also reﬂected in the fact that costs are always taken to be opportunity costs, which means that one always compares with the next best alternative. The opportunity costs stay the same, whether a government oﬀers terrorists a reward of a given sum of money for compliance, or threatens them with a penalty of the same amount for failure to comply. If, however, it is known that the sanctioned units react diﬀerently to rewards than to punishments (as will be argued here), it is important to maintain the distinction. Economic policy considers both negative and positive inducements. In environmental economics, for example, both incentive taxes and incentive subsidies are proposed to make producers and consumers take into...
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