Evaluation and Effectiveness of Counter-Terrorism
Forthcoming in Wim Hardyns, Koen Ponnet, Genserik Reniers, Wim Smit, Luc Braeckmans & Barbara Segaert (eds), Socially Responsible Innovation in Security: Critical Reflections (2017)
17 Pages Posted: 6 Jul 2016
Date Written: June 29, 2016
In spite of their proliferation at national and supra-national levels, evaluation of whether counter-terrorist measures are actually effective is worryingly inadequate or, sometimes, simply non-existent. In this short essay I argue that the expansion of counter-terrorism in the past decade and a half has had, and continues to have, serious implications for human rights (not only of suspected terrorists, but of all of us), for democracy, and for the Rule of Law. As a result, part of assessing the justifiability of maintaining (and expanding) these measures must be to establish that they are not only prospectively necessary and designed with rights concerns in mind (the arguments made in justifying their introduction), but also actually effective and proportionate. In order for us to truly assess the effectiveness of counter-terrorist measures and the robustness of the underlying necessity claim, we must assess the extent to which they meet both meta-objectives of security measures per se and the specific objectives of these measures themselves in as comprehensive, rigorous, and open a way possible. Current practice is, however, not to do this in a systematic manner, meaning that counter-terrorism continues to expand on the basis of prospective arguments as to its necessity and appropriateness, claims for trust on the part of governments and, ultimately, shaky evidentiary bases.
Keywords: terrorism, counter-terrorism, security studies
JEL Classification: K10, K33, H26
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation