Countering Terrorism: No Simple Solutions

Vortrag von Gary LaFree

Das Institut für Friedenforschung und Sicherheitspolitik an der Universität Hamburg und das US-Generalkonsulat Hamburg laden ein zum Vortrag:

Countering Terrorism: No Simple Solutions

Es spricht: 

Gary LaFree, Director START Center and Professor of Criminology, University of Maryland


Dr. Patricia Schneider, IFSH

am Montag, 19. September 2016, 18.00 Uhr s.t.

Im Institut für Friedensforschung und Sicherheitspolitik an der Universität Hamburg (IFSH), Beim Schlump 83, 20144 Hamburg, Raum 2/023 im 2. Stock.

Anmeldung bis zum 15. September erbeten an schneider(at)ifsh(dot)de

Countering Terrorism: No Simple Solutions

What is it about terrorism that makes it such a challenging policy problem? In this presentation I explore some of the characteristics of terrorism that make it inherently difficult for governments to formulate effective counterterrorism policies. Why is terrorism so intractable? What are the obstacles to developing a consistent and coherent counterterrorism strategy? The main argument in this presentation is that the conceptual and empirical requirements of defining, classifying, explaining, and responding to terrorist attacks are more complex than is usually acknowledged by politicians and academics, which complicates the task of crafting effective counterterrorism policy. My focus is on the daunting complexity, variation, and mutability of the issue itself. Moreover, the stakes are high because the consequences of missteps and miscalculations in responding to terrorism are potentially catastrophic.  I outline some of the barriers to recognizing and responding to terrorist attacks. Terrorist attacks are rare, yet they encourage immediate and far-reaching responses that are not easily rolled back. Many attempts fail or are foiled, so that examining only successful terrorist attacks gives an incomplete picture. The actors behind terrorism are extremely difficult to identify, because there is no standard “terrorist organization.” Governments and researchers often struggle to establish responsibility for specific attacks. For empirical comparisons I rely on the Global Terrorism Database (GTD) which includes nearly 157,000 terrorist attacks since 1970.

Gary LaFree is professor of criminology and criminal justice and director of the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START) at the University of Maryland. Dr. LaFree has served as president of the American Society of Criminology (ASC) and was named a fellow of the ASC in 2006. He is a member of the US Attorney General’s Science Advisory Board and the National Academy of Science’s Crime, Law and Justice Committee.  Dr. LaFree has written over 80 articles and book chapters and six books, mostly looking at criminal and political violence. His most recent books are Putting Terrorism in Context (with Laura Dugan and Erin Miller; published in 2015 with Routledge) and Countering Terrorism: No Simple Solutions (with Martha Crenshaw; coming out with Brookings Press later this year).He received his Ph.D. in sociology from Indiana University in 1979.