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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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Is Liberal Democracy the Solution to Terrorism—or is it Part of the Problem?

Is Liberal Democracy the Solution to Terrorism—or is it Part of the Problem?

(p.84) 6 Is Liberal Democracy the Solution to Terrorism—or is it Part of the Problem?
Global Alert

Boaz Ganor

Columbia University Press

This chapter explores the debate on whether or not liberal democracy can eliminate terrorism. There are two factors to be considered when a terrorist group is formed—the motivation and the capability to advance terrorist agendas to the public at large. A terrorist organization cannot survive if either of these factors ceases to be. Within the doctrine of liberal democracy then, are two approaches that echo these sentiments: the democratic values approach, and the democratic efficiency approach. The former relies on the inherent qualities of liberal democracy in addressing the motivational factor of terrorism, the latter in suppressing certain aspects of liberal democracy in order to suppress the capability factor. An effective counter-terrorism policy would be in staying aware and keeping informed of how terrorists exploit liberal democratic values and mechanisms, and in keeping liberal democratic values as is, without suspending or abandoning democratic values to limit terrorist opportunities.

Keywords:   liberal democracy, terrorism, democratic values approach, democratic efficiency approach, motivation, capability, counter-terrorism policy

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