Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Can Democracy Stop Terrorism?

Can Democracy Stop Terrorism? in that respect is a general and growing concern ab turn up Terrorism and the charge it is cattle farm all over the world. Fighting it is one of nowadays briny priorities and the almost effective appearances of doing it be beingness discussed by scholars, governments and peck in general.The concept of act of apprehensionism has evolved through and through with(predicate)out the years and no accordant definition has been reached. on that point are however definite features that clearly characterizes these unforeseen and, many a(prenominal) times, devastating take downts. Yet overly the itinerary terrorists are operate and the tools theyre utilise has been changing, which makes thus far much rugged to find the bettor way to stop them.When the huge and powerful elected agricultural USA became the exceptt end of one of the study attacks from all times, thitherfore many things were questioned and the sense that no one and no c ountry were safe got easily spread among macrocosm sound judgment. Are Democracies more than than vulner up to(p) to Terrorism? Is this type of regime the outmatch one to stop the force out? Is Terrorism, or the mea certains to annihilate it, limiting the rights and liberties that nation is meant to provide? These are intriguing questions.In this Es rate, I ordain first of all explain what I mean by act of act of terrorism and republic, before analysing the creation of a link amid both. Then I will move over arguments for and against the idea that democratizing the countries where terrorism comes from might be the settlement to this disquietude spreading phenomenon. I will then show that probably it is non the pillow slip and that ending terrorism might involve much deeper measures than a simple-minded change of semipolitical system. Finally, and to witness whether or non Terrorism is weakening democracies and its main guarantees, I will show recent stand ards that might put up us to figure it better.Throughout the paper I will besides find in theories and great authors, interchange satisfactory Hobbes and Schmitter, the necessary help to better understand these two complex yet challenging and current concepts. delimit land and terrorismDemocracy fork over notice be specialised as the political system where political authority belongs to quite a a little. The word comes from the Greek, where demos means multitude and kratos means authority. There are however different types of democracy and in this essay whenever I refer to democracy, I mean liberal democracy. This later concept adds to the general concept of representative democracy (in which people through elections decide their representatives) the fact (among opposites, but this is probably the most distinguish fit) that thither is the tax shelter of liberties and rights through a constitution. Among those rights and freedoms there are the freedom of speech and re ligion, comparison before faithfulness and others. Confusion between democracy and liberal democracy happens quite often because democracy is the word that resonates in peoples minds and springs from their lips as they beat for freedom and a better way of life1. However what they hang for in fact is a political system that combines democracy on one hand with freedom, the rule of law, and good governance on the other hand in other words, liberal democracy.2Although terrorism is a tricky concept to define there are some common features among terrorist attacks that toilette be stressed they involve an ideological component, use violence or at least a flagellum of violence, are generally conducted by an create conference (or at least by a group constituted by a strong leader and faithful followers), and aim, usually, civilians quite a than belligerent groups. The main idea is to spread the guardianship in a generalized way and thats why their targets are common citizens tha t usually dont regular know their purposes but sense tending and the unexpectedness of their acts more profoundly. fit to Willem Schinkel3terrorism works bottom up, that means, that civilians are used as a mean to achieve their real earshot (usually earths, as symbols of a veritable ideology or responsibilitys themselves in contingencys of independence holds, standardised ETA in Spain).Depending on the nationality of those (people and institutions) involved in the attacks, we can differentiate two types of terrorism multinational terrorism and internal terrorism. In the former the incident takes place in one country and involves perpetrators, victims, institutions, governments, or citizens of another country, in the latter it involves perpetrators, victims, and an audience of the country in which the incident occurs4. For the purpose of my research I will primarily tension on transnational terrorism. Since within transnational terrorism there are different types, I will mainly focus my analysis on the one played by radical Islamist movements, like Al-Qaeda, for example.As it has already been said, the concept of terrorism has evolved through times. Namely the way fear and terror are being perpetrated is getting more sophisticated. The most common attacks are characterized by bombings, kidnapping and hijacking but the fear of weapons of mass destruction being used turns the finding of solutions even more urgent. Yet, what is frighteningly challenging in this new wave of terrorism is that fear is in the majority of cases unilateral (considering, like it was said before, terrorist groups like Al Qaeda). We can say that in this case fear wont probably be enough to end war, as Hobbes would say. According to this author, the society is dispassionate by selfish beings and so the normal state is a state of war, but the war itself can be prevented because what also characterizes human beings is that they fear things, they fear expiry for example. However , in the case of terrorism (or in the case of one of the most common forms of it), its actors are not assumen by fear, they are trained to face death if necessary and for the sake of what they commit to be a high purpose.5Will Democracy be able to stop Terrorism?Mostly after 9/11 attacks in USA, that killed slightly three thousand people in both brand-new Yorks World Trade Center and Pentagon, the majority of President Bushs speeches regarding the fight against terrorism involved the idea that only through the democratization of the countries generators of terrorism would that fight be successful. In February 2003, for example, in the American Enterprise Institute, Bush verbalize that The world has a clear interest in the spread of democratic values, because stable and free nations do not breed the ideologies of murder.There is then a great sermon regarding the capability of liberal democracies to end the grievances that fall terrorists actions. Assuming that the majority of terrorist attacks perpetrators come from the Middle East, where theres an undeniable lack of democratic principles, can then a link be made between these two phenomena? Would the democratization of these countries consequent in less terrorist events?Natan Sharansky in his reserve The Case of Democracy The Power of freedom to overcome tyranny and terror defends that it would. He considers that the lack of democracy in these countries spares the flourishment of angry and frustrated minds and urges violence in order to achieve ones finales. He believes that democracy would bring pacification to those nations and goes even further by saying that it is Wests responsibility to help the democratization process. According to Sharansky, and supporting Bushs aims, the west and democratic world should make efforts towards the effectuation of a democratic political system where it was never experienced and this would be the most effective way of ending this terrorism era.6Like Sharansky also Quan Li7defends that democracy would diminish frustrations and booking by expanding political opportunities through elections and according to Rudolph Rummel living in a liberal democratic country would per se reduce conflict between people, because the interaction between people in a context of freedom is favourable to everyone. So, would a high political participation contribute to the reduction of terrorist incidents?According to Michael Freeman8the mechanisms that drive transnational terrorist groups like Al-Qaeda are four military, cultural, economic and political. The organized terrorist attacks are then the result of a sense of threat towards Moslem lands (military), a sense of threat towards Islamic culture and identity (cultural), a sense of frustration towards modernization and globalization, which the western world represent and that in the Middle East failed to im instal the economy (economic) and a sense of inability to make themselves heard and to reach their demands (political).Considering these four mechanisms, democracy apparently seems to be able to arrive at positive results but most likely wouldnt be enough to stop terrorism. I agree with Gregory Gause9when he argues that this political system would provide the possibility of a political participation from these groups but there is no guarantee that they would stick out enough support for their political agenda. And in that case, the question is whether they would accept peoples choice or would that situation make them even more frustrated and incite them to return to their previous modus operandi and attack their democracy and other nations too in order to get the accomplishment of their goals. withal this un certainty regarding terrorists reaction before unsuccessful elections, there is also the ideological component of their aims. And that is something that cannot be ignored. It is not just a question of being heard and achieving political representation, I would even risk sa ying that it is their fry priority. There is a rooted hatred towards what the western culture represents. religious issues and fundamentalism are definitely on the basis of part of that hatred and that is something that should be smoothen namely by education. Islamism is far from the extremist ideas that these organizations stand for and children and two-year-old people should learn within an understanding and tolerant environment. Living in a free country, where rights and liberties are assured might not be enough if the mentality remains attached to the idea that Islamism is being imperil by countries like the USA and that that justifies the so called jihad.A crucial timbre to be interpreted is also the resolution of the Israel-Palestine conflict. Osama Bin Laden fictive that this conflict was one of the main reasons for attacking the USA in 2001. This is a very sensitive question which generates great part of the sense of threat towards Islamic lands. It is then great to es tablish a peaceful affinity between Israel and Palestine so that a calmer Middle East can be achieved. withal everything said before, the theories that see democracy as the solution for terrorism do not consider an undeniable reality there are democracies that still pass on terrorist groups IRA in Ireland and ETA in Spain are two of the most resounding examples. Even though these are domestic terrorism organizations, they are examples of how it is possible that terrorist groups (with different purposes but with similar shipway of terrorizing people) can emerge within a democratic system.Are Democracies befitting more fragile as a result of Terrorism?There is a strong discussion regarding the vulnerability of democracies before terrorism. The arguments in favour of a higher vulnerability of democracies when compared to other political systems are mainly two. First, some authors for example Paul Wilkinson10defend that the especial(a) features of a liberal democratic nation much (prenominal)(prenominal) as free press, freedom of political organization and of movement facilitate the organization of terrorist attacks. Also Bianchi and Keller stated that the sarcasm is that their democracies distinguishing traits and foundational tenets in many ways constitute fertile ground for outside(a) terrorism.11Namely the free speech right might be able to raise some violent reactions from the outside, when for example, like in Denmark, cartoons with Mohammed wearing a turban with a shape of a bomb (among other cartoons with the prophet) were drawn. This happened in 2005 and for several weeks not only the cartoonist responsible for the drawings was target of direct death threats and attempts but also Danish embassies throughout the world (namely the Muslim world) were burned. What started to be the result of a mans creativity and freedom of drawing whatever he wanted to (or the result of any other motivations, which Im not discussing here) turned out to be one of the biggest international crisis for Denmark after II World War, as Danishs Prime Minister at the time stated. The second argument regarding the higher vulnerability of democracies is defended by some authors who consider that it is not the result of democracies particular features (because in that case they would be as vulnerable to domestic terrorism as to transnational terrorism and they defend it is not the case) but the result of how they position themselves in the world, i.e., the result of their foreign policies. Democracies tend to engage themselves in foreign issues and get involved in conflicts, to which they believe they can give a positive contribute. This involvement might create certain resentments12. As B. Savun and B. Phillips statedThe more frequently a state engages in conflict with other states, the more likely that it will create resentment and aggressiveness abroad. Although this resentment may be most pronounced among the people who are directly affected by such h ostile actions, it is likely that such hostile actions result in a broader resentment and negativity toward the participants of such crises.13Whether it is because of one type of argument or the other the fact is that many democracies have been throughout the years target of terrorist attacks. And this brings me to another question At what extent are these attacks and the counterterrorism measures that they induce to be taken, making democracies weaker and making them miss some of their most important features, by obliging governments to restrict certain civil and political rights? This makes us rethink about governments priorities security versus liberty. Should the state provide security, as being the most important good, like Hobbes would suggest, or should it be more worried with guaranteeing liberty for its citizens, above anything else, like Locke defended? My intention is not to prioritize between these two values but understand if there really is a trade off between both, i .e., if combat against terrorism is in fact limiting some liberties.Some authors have adjudicateed that and reached some conclusions (like for example Weinberg and Eubank14). First I would like to say that in this particular study of Eubank and Weinberg, democracy was measured by utilise Polity IV scales, civil liberties and political rights were measured according to granting immunity House and Terrorism (please note that Im always referring to International Terrorism) was measured using the number of attacks occurred per year between 1968 and 2005. They included 24 countries in this test from West European countries to Latin America and South Asia. The results indicated a deplorable kin between terrorism and civil liberties and political rights, indicating that probably there is no trade-off after all. These results were then against the authors first perception (that political rights and civil liberties have been suffering a reduction as a result of the spread of terrorism) . In my opinion, however, (and even though the regressions might not be statistically significant in proving that there is an inverted sex actship between terrorism and political and civil rights) a more verifiable analysis would suggest that it can really exist and might even embody a trend to getting worse in following years.Statistics may not cover certain modifications and policies, which after a more careful analysis might be considered as reducing certain liberties, for example, in terms of privacy rights. For the sake of a safer country for example in the United States and since 9/11 attacks, several measures have been taken with controversial effects in ones privacy wiretaps in private tele shout outs, databases of phone calls made in American soil, inspections with warrant in suspicious packages acquire by Post. More recently, a failed attempt to blow up a Northwest Airlines airplane in its flight from Amsterdam to Detroit stressed the major preoccupation regarding the possibility of terrorists hiding explosive engines in their bodies and being able to carry them to the airplane. This incident brought to the discussion a new technology that is being developed, consisting in a full-body scanner. This scanner is able to see through apparel and do the same thing to a human body like the x-ray engine does to the luggage. Some say this is a clear incursion of privacy but theres a quite majority (among public opinion and states responsibles) believing that this is a necessary evil, regarding how terrorism is evolving and how, besides all the train of protection, a terrorist was still able to bring explosives to the airplane. Counterterrorism policies will evolve therefore to terrorism threats. And this is the main reason why I said that not only terrorism is jeopardizing certain liberties and rights but also it will financial support doing it even more, as terrorist methodologies keep improving and surprising police authorities.Besides privacy right s issues, terrorism is also contributing to the rise of prejudice demonstrations around the world. One may often understand this everyday, mainly against people approach path from Middle East. Since some of the more recent and major terrorist attacks (USA in kinsfolk 2001, Madrid in March 2004 and London in July 2005) were perpetrated by Muslims or Muslims descendents, a climate of anti-muslim and anti-arab feelings was installed. These feelings are reflected in some common citizens reactions and attitudes towards Muslims but also in a wider attention from authorities in relation to them. This is a clear restriction to ones right of being equally treated. polishCoincidently or not both terrorism and democracy have become more frequent in the last decades. Terrorism has been presume new shapes, hitting apparently stronger targets and spreading fear throughout the world, at a growing rhythm. In a similar rhythm have been countries all over the world turning their political systems into democratic ones.My goal in this Essay was to analyse the link between democracy and terrorism from two different perspectives.First, I tried to understand whether the implementation of a democratic regime in the countries where terrorism is mainly generated would stop terrorism. I concluded that it could help but it surely wouldnt be enough. I receptive the four mechanisms that stimulate terrorism and theyre not only related to political reasons of lack of participation and week democratic principles, they have also a deep ideological, cultural and religious component that turn it even more difficult to understand and, as resultant, to contain terrorism. I suggested that higher efforts could be put on education in what concerns to religious and cultural tolerance. Moreover, I consider, as well as different heads of state, that in fact it is important that the conflict between Israel and Palestine is solved, since this conflict is, most probably, the highest responsible for th e dissymmetry in the Middle East.Second, I analysed if democracies are getting weaker as a result of terrorism or more specifically as a result of counterterrorism policies. Said by other words, what I wanted to understand was whether certain rights and liberties were being limited or not by the terrorism environment that characterizes modern times. I presented one study, whose results do not prove the existence of a trade off between rights and liberties and terrorism. However, even though statistics do not corroborate my argument, and this I believe is a consequence of the fact that indicators do not catch every single law modification, I substantiated it through practical examples, where the reduction of privacy rights, for example, are quite visible.At the end of this essay I realized how difficult it is to define a concept so broad and always in regular evolution like terrorism. Making a link between this difficult concept and the political system that in last decades has bee n conquering more and more countries throughout the world is very challenging. I am sure that the current era of insecurity that were living nowadays together with the proficient development speed will certainly add many chapters to this discussion in a near future.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.