Defeat by popular demand: public support and counterterrorism in three western democracies, 1963-1998
Acquiring and maintaining public support is frequently cited as an important requirement for governments fighting non-state actors. But how exactly can public support influence the course of counterterrorism campaigns and thereby contribute to an escalation or de-escalation of violence?
- Bart Schuurman
- 18 January 2013
This article argues that public support can provide a mandate for action but that it can also set boundaries for the measures governments and their non-state adversaries can legitimately use. Fluctuations in the quantity and quality of public support for either side can expand or contract these boundaries, potentially instigating marked changes in conflict-related violence levels and affecting the efficacy of government countermeasures.