Edited by Harry W Richardson, Peter Gordon and James E. Moore II
Bruno S. Frey and Simon Luechinger Politics focuses almost exclusively on deterrence in its ﬁght against terrorism. In striking contrast to the prominence given to deterrence, the evaluation of this strategy by many renowned terrorism experts is unfavorable. Hoﬀman (1998, p. 61), for example, claims that countless times ‘attempts by the ruling regime to deter further violence . . . backﬁred catastrophically’. In this chapter we argue that there are superior strategies to deterrence. In contrast to raising the direct costs of terrorism, as is the case with a deterrence policy, terrorists can be eﬀectively dissuaded from attacking either if the utility of committing an attack to the terrorists is lowered or if the opportunity costs are raised. We propose three strategies to deal with terrorism, the ﬁrst two aiming at lowering the utility of terrorism to terrorists, the third attempting to raise the opportunity costs: 1. Polycentricity. A system with many diﬀerent centers is more stable than a more centralized one. When one part of the system is negatively aﬀected, one or several other parts can take over. A prospective target of terrorist attacks can reduce its vulnerability by decentralizing the economy, the polity and the society. Terrorists are aware of this reduced vulnerability and are, therefore, dissuaded from attacking. 2. Diﬀusing media attention. The relationship between terrorists and the media can be described as ‘symbiotic’. Both want to make news. One way to ensure that terrorists derive lower beneﬁts from terrorism would be for...
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