How to Fight Terrorism: Alternatives to Deterrence

Zurich IEER Working Paper No. 137

35 Pages Posted: 4 Apr 2003

See all articles by Bruno S. Frey

Bruno S. Frey

CREMA; University of Basel

Simon Luechinger

University of Lucerne

Date Written: November 19, 2002

Abstract

Deterrence has been a crucial element in fighting terrorism, both in actual politics and rational choice analyses of terrorism. But there are superior strategies to deterrence. One is to make terrorist attacks less attractive. Another to raise the opportunity cost - rather than the material cost - to terrorists. These alternative strategies effectively dissuade potential terrorists. The strategies suggested here build on the "benevolence" system and tend to produce a positive sum game among the interacting parties. In contrast, the deterrence system is based on "threats" and tends to produce a negative sum game interaction.

Keywords: Terrorism, Deterrence, Decentralisation, Opportunity Cost, Rational Choice, Motivation

JEL Classification: D74, H56, K42

Suggested Citation

Frey, Bruno S. and Luechinger, Simon, How to Fight Terrorism: Alternatives to Deterrence (November 19, 2002). Zurich IEER Working Paper No. 137. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=359824 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.359824

Bruno S. Frey (Contact Author)

CREMA ( email )

Südstrasse 11
Zurich, CH 8008
Switzerland
+41 44 380 00 78 (Phone)

University of Basel ( email )

Peter Merian-Weg 6
Basel, 4002
Switzerland

Simon Luechinger

University of Lucerne ( email )

Frohburgstrasse 3
P.O. Box 4466
Lucerne, 6002
Switzerland

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