The 'Peer-Effect' in Counterterrorist Policies
39 Pages Posted: 15 Jul 2012 Last revised: 4 Dec 2013
Date Written: 2012
Existing accounts of counterterrorist policies posit that defensively oriented measures create negative externalities and result in regulatory competition inducing governments to increasingly tighten their policies. We argue that rather than causing an unconditional global ‘race to the top,’ spatial dependence in counterterrorist policies is limited to within groups of countries exposed to a similar level of threat from international terrorism. Countries strongly differ in their propensity to become the target of an international terror attack and governments can safely ignore counterterrorist policies enacted by countries outside their ‘peer group,’ but must pay attention to measures undertaken by their peers. We test various predictions derived from our theory in an empirical analysis of counterterrorist regulations in 20 Western developed country democracies over the period 2001 to 2008.
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