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The Dynamics of Terrorism and Counterterrorism: Understanding the Domestic Security Dilemma

Discussions on PolicyPreventionRegionsWorld

Studies in Conflict and TerrorismJournal abstract

This article argues that the concept of the “domestic security dilemma” can help us to better understand public opposition to government counterterrorism policies. It examines the concept of the “security dilemma” in international relations theory and argues that this concept can also be applied to the analysis of domestic security politics. The article explains that when the government takes actions intended to make people safer from terrorist threats, it often has the unintended consequence of heightening concerns about government oppression. Thus, counterterrorism represents a “domestic security dilemma”—a situation where security tradeoffs have consistently undermined anticipated security gains.

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