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Effectiveness of Anti-Terrorist Policies

NCJ Number
C Hewitt
Date Published
133 pages
Using a time series analysis to measure the effectiveness of different policies to combat urban terrorism, this study found that the most effective antiterrorist strategy uses a mix of coordinated policies appropriate to the specific national situation.
Five cases of terrorism are examined: in Cyprus between 1955 and 1959, in Uruguay (by the Tupamaros) between 1968 and 1973, in Northern Ireland since 1970, in Spain (by a Basque-related organization) since 1975, and in Italy (by revolutionary leftists) since 1977. Six categories of macropolicies against terrorists are considered: negotiating a ceasefire, improving economic conditions, making reforms, collectively punishing the civilian population, giving special powers to the authorities and reducing the civil liberties of the general population through emergency legislation, and using repressive policies involving security forces and the courts. Micropolicies such as hostage negotiations or surveillance techniques are not considered. The author concludes that, short of extreme measures (such as military dictatorship), repressive regimes are no more successful in reducing terrorism than liberal regimes. Footnotes, figures, data tables, appendixes presenting additional results and a discussion of data sources, and a bibliography listing 79 references are supplied.