Discussion Paper Series, Wilfried-Guth-Stiftungsprofessur für Ordnungs- und Wettbewerbspolitik 2019-02
In recent years, a number of major terrorist attacks in EU member states has put the fight against homegrown and international terrorism at the top of the agenda of European policy-makers. This paper analyzes the costs of terrorism in the European Union from both a theoretical and empirical perspective in order to evaluate counter-terrorism policies by comparing their costs and benefits. Two important policy implications can be derived from our exercise. First, individuals' behavioral predispositions typically result in a biased perception of the risk of terrorism leading to too high a demand for counter-terrorism measures relative to what the objective probability of terrorist events suggests. This results in a tendency to favor repressive over preventive measures against terrorism. Second, uncoordinated European policies against terrorism have the potential to undermine the effectiveness of counter-terrorism measures. If there is a justification for the existence of the European Union (which an increasing number of populist parties in Europe seems to doubt), then it is to provide supranational answers to coordination failure in European counter-terrorism policies.
terrorism home-grown terrorism European Union counter-terrorism policies coordination failure behavioral responses to terrorism