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Global AlertThe Rationality of Modern Islamist Terrorism and the Challenge to the Liberal Democratic World$
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Boaz Ganor

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780231172127

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231172127.001.0001

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The Challenges and Dilemmas Faced by Liberal Democracies Coping with Modern Islamist Terrorism

The Challenges and Dilemmas Faced by Liberal Democracies Coping with Modern Islamist Terrorism

Chapter:
(p.21) 2 The Challenges and Dilemmas Faced by Liberal Democracies Coping with Modern Islamist Terrorism
Source:
Global Alert
Author(s):

Boaz Ganor

Publisher:
Columbia University Press
DOI:10.7312/columbia/9780231172127.003.0002

This chapter expands on terrorism's exploitation of liberal democracy and explains the main dilemmas that this generates for the liberal democratic state plagued by terrorism. States operating under liberal democratic values generally find themselves the target of terrorist attacks because the very system itself can easily facilitate, communicate, and amplify terrorism's prime commodity: fear. With the use of media coverage in part and with psychological manipulations of public opinion as a whole, terrorists can personalize their actions to instill the greatest possible amount of fear into the public, who will then pressure their decision makers into giving in to the terrorists' demands. Removing the freedoms afforded by modern democracies can limit opportunities for these attacks, albeit at the expense of undermining liberal democratic values.

Keywords:   liberal democracy, exploitation, liberal democratic values, fear, public opinion, media coverage, modern democracies

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