Do Counter-Terrorism Measures Work? Appraising the Long-Term and Global Effectiveness of Security Policies
8 Pages Posted: 16 Nov 2018 Last revised: 22 Nov 2018
Date Written: November 1, 2018
In the counter-terrorism context, significant restrictions of liberties are often politically justified on the ground that they are necessary to ensure security. Yet, in practice, governments very rarely support this claim with studies evaluating the actual effects of counter-terrorism measures on security. Effectiveness is a key issue for counter-terrorism because measures that are not effective cannot be politically justified as necessary. In turn, restrictions to human rights that are not necessary cannot be legally justified. This Policy Brief discusses the main debates and challenges surrounding the issue of effectiveness of counter-terrorism laws and policies by addressing three main questions: what effectiveness means, why it should be evaluated, and how it could be done. In conclusion, it invites policymakers to take a step back and to genuinely engage with the question of effectiveness of security policies.
Keywords: Counter-terrorism; Necessity; Security; Effectiveness; Evaluation; Human rights
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