Terrorism and Democratic Recession

18 Pages Posted: 26 May 2017 Last revised: 6 Sep 2017

See all articles by Aziz Z. Huq

Aziz Z. Huq

University of Chicago - Law School

Date Written: May 25, 2017


This short essay examples the potential causal mechanisms that might link terrorism to democratic decline. That causal pathway is often asserted in political rhetoric about terrorism — but such assertions do not rest on a robust body of theory or empirical knowledge. I hypothesize three ways in which acts of terrorism might lead to a decline in democratic practices. These three pathways work through the use of emergency powers, the creation of a repressive state apparatus, and the conjuring of a populist style of politics adverse to democratic contestation. I tentatively conclude that terrorism is most likely to undermine democracy through its accelerating effect on state-development and its corrosive effect on democratic politics. Recognition of this possibility, I conclude, has implications for the doctrinal treatment of individual rights in the teeth of security threats.

Suggested Citation

Huq, Aziz Z., Terrorism and Democratic Recession (May 25, 2017). University of Chicago Law Review, Vol. 84, 2017, U of Chicago, Public Law Working Paper No. 631, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2974006

Aziz Z. Huq (Contact Author)

University of Chicago - Law School ( email )

1111 E. 60th St.
Chicago, IL 60637
United States

Do you have negative results from your research you’d like to share?

Paper statistics

Abstract Views
PlumX Metrics