Discussion Paper Details

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Title: Public Safety and the Moral Dilemma in the Defense Against Terror

Author(s): RaphaŽl Franck, Arye L. Hillman and Miriam Krausz

Publication Date: November 2004

Keyword(s): counter-terrorism, Defense economics, defensive preemption, international judges, profiling and terror

Programme Area(s): Public Economics

Abstract: The economic theory of defense has traditionally described public safety as achieved through investments that deter adversaries. Deterrence is however ineffective, and preemptive defense is required, when a population of intended victims confronts supreme-value suicide terror. A moral dilemma then arises, since preemption may impose collective punishment, while, in the absence of preemption, the population of intended victims is exposed to acts of terror. We consider how a population of intended terror victims confronts the moral dilemma, and compare the threatened population?s response with the public-safety recommendations of external judges who are not personally affected by the threat of terror.

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Bibliographic Reference

Franck, R, Hillman, A and Krausz, M. 2004. 'Public Safety and the Moral Dilemma in the Defense Against Terror'. London, Centre for Economic Policy Research.