Terrorism and the Fourth Wave in Deterrence Research
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After 9/11, many people claimed these attacks showed that deterrence does not work against terrorism. Scholars have responded to this challenge by considering how deterrence might be used to prevent terrorism. This literature review identifies areas of consensus and disagreement in the recent research as well as remaining weaknesses. There is surprising consensus that deterrence remains potentially relevant, along with recognition that it will not be 100 percent effective. Three approaches have received the greatest attention: indirect deterrence, deterrence by denial, and deterrence by delegitimization. The area of greatest disagreement concerns threatening retaliation against the societies terrorists claim to represent. Finally, two areas where more work is needed are greater empirical research to test the ideas put forward so far and more attention to trade-offs involved in the various proposals.
Paper prepared for International Studies Association annual meeting, New Orleans, LA, February 17-20, 2010.
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