When the shoe doesn’t fit
Brazilian approaches to terrorism and counterterrorism in the post-9/11 era
in Non-Western responses to terrorism
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This chapter examines how international terrorism has impacted Brazil in the post-9/11 era and transformed its counterterrorism policy. It begins by noting that Brazilian politicians have long suggested that terrorism is someone else’s problem and that the political and cultural choices that the government has made have somehow immunized it to the terrorist threat. This perception has been durable, despite the actual evidence of terrorist group operation inside the country. In the post-9/11 era, external pressure from the United States has forced counterterrorism onto the agenda of the Brazilian state, but political deadlock has meant that relatively little legislation criminalizing terrorist activity has been passed. The state also still lacks effective counterterrorism policies due a dearth of expertise on the subject, the lack of a consolidated strategy to guide institutional actions and the inexistence of a systemic legal framework to structure counterterrorism policies. As a result, in terms of international cooperation, Brazil may be seen as an ‘involuntary defector’ from the international coalition against terrorist actors.

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