Framing and evaluating anti-terrorism policy
in Anti-terrorism, citizenship and security
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This chapter explores the different ways in which citizens evaluate anti-terrorism policy. Sources of hostility toward these powers include: concerns that they contribute to wider climates of fear; worries that they might drive the alienation of minority communities; questions about their effectiveness; doubts over whether they address the “root causes” of terrorism; suspicions that they are little more than a performative exercise in “security theatre”; civil liberties concerns; and, worries around their mis-use. Less sceptical stances our research uncovered included: relief or contentedness that the state is “doing something” to address the threat of terrorism; a perception that robust mechanisms are necessary given the nature of contemporary terrorism; a sense that sufficient safeguards are in place to prevent abuses of these powers; and ambiguity toward the capacity of “ordinary” citizens to evaluate such mechanisms.

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