Handbook, Part V: Preparedness and Consequence Management

21 May 2021
 

In the fifth and final part of the Handbook of Terrorism Prevention and Preparedness, the authors explore the required approach to minimize harm should prevention fail, and
how this can be done, exploring victim- and human rights issues among others. The chapters explore issues of traumatisation, public panic, economic disruptions, revenge acts and human rights violations as a consequence of terrorist attacks.

The full table of contents can be found here.

The Handbook consists of five parts. New chapters will be released on a weekly basis. To receive a monthly update on chapter releases, subscribe here.

Part V: Preparedness and Consequence Management

by Shannon Nash

Abstract
In the wake of a terrorist attack there is an expectation of trauma after such purposeful and unpredictable violence. The nature of terrorism itself perpetuates fear, paranoia, and anxiety. However, there is immense variability in response to trauma, both immediately and over time. Studies on direct and proximal exposure to attacks, as well as individual response to terrorism and indirect exposure, demonstrate that the impact of terrorist attacks is not limited to those directly affected by it. This chapter reviews the findings of important studies and practical efforts to anticipate and reduce risk factors contributing to lasting traumatization of terrorist victims. Several areas of focus emerge in the literature involving major national traumas, first responders, children, the media, and community support. In addition, it is important to understand the experience of others who have faced such trauma and have built resilience. This includes countries which have faced chronic terrorism and decades of war that have left citizens profoundly affected, psychologically and socially. Important gaps remain in our understanding of lasting traumatization in direct and indirect victims of terrorism. This chapter identifies a variety of flexible responses and mental health strategies which include: support for first responders, promotion of resilience in children, media delivery and consumption, and rapidly adapting community-based initiatives. It is a challenge to rely on hypotheticals in disaster planning, but preparation both before and after an attack occurs contribute toward effective, abiding responses that can be built into permanent infrastructures and public health models.

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by Juan Merizalde, John D. Colautti, and James J.F. Forest

Abstract
Public panic in the wake of a terrorist incident is counterproductive, providing benefits only to the perpetrators of the incident as well as those who seek to capitalize on fear and panic for their own purposes (often political or profit-oriented). And when people panic, they make bad decisions. Fortunately, scholarly research has shown that panic is the exception rather than the norm. Instead, studies of public behavior following natural disasters and terrorist incidents emphasize that most people are rational thinking and logically reacting beings who tend not to panic or to be frozen in fear. Thus, positive outcomes can be expected from devising and implementing research-based strategies that will diminish the likelihood of panic in the wake of terrorist attacks. For example, research on community resilience indicates that being well prepared, effectively communicating accurate, relevant information and empowering citizens to take recommended actions all help to significantly reduce fear and anxiety in times of crises. Following a review of this research, the chapter will conclude with a brief discussion on research policy implications.

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by Richard J. Chasdi

Abstract
The Bali I (2002) and Bali II (2005) bombings, conducted by Jema’ah Islamiya (JI) and its splinter group Al-Qaeda in the Malay Archipelago respectively, are watershed empirical case studies used to highlight the theoretical discussion about the economic consequences of terrorism with particular focus on the tourism industry and related services sectors. The analysis focuses on broader lessons learned, and relevant policy prescriptions for areas heavily reliant on the tourism industry that make use of public-private partnerships, both domestically and internationally. In terms of a theoretical discussion about economic consequences, discussion involves comparisons between three topics. First, damage caused by the Bali I and Bali II bombings and economic impacts nationally, regionally, and internationally, to comparable damage caused by 9/11 and certain natural catastrophes such as Hurricane Andrew and Hurricane Katrina. Second, tourism asset protection approaches from economic and legislative perspectives. Finally, police and military action approaches and disaster management programs. This analysis primarily makes use of the school of neo-realism’s “three level analysis” of conflict with its focus on explanatory factors and effects at and across three levels: the “international political system,” “nation-state,” and “individual.” To be more specific, the “international political system” explanatory factors include those that affected three or more states (e.g., the Global War on Terrorism (GWOT) and the SARS virus). The “nation-state” factors include regime type, level of modernization, and societal composition. Third, “individual factors” include individual leader personality and style of leadership characteristics, and small upper level elite group decision-making processes.

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by Marie Robin

Abstract
This chapter focuses on the ways in which some people react to terrorism. It first offers a typology of some of the main unlawful reactions to terrorism, classifying them along two axes - the level of violence and the level of organization. Four types of responses are then examined, ranging from non-violent/non-institutionalized reactions to violent/institutionalized reactions. This chapter then focuses on two of these situations - those that involve an actual use of violence - and it examines the dangers posed by revenge and vigilantism at the levels of the state, society and counterterrorism. The chapter concludes by offering recommendations on how to deal with private revenge acts and vigilantism. First, government should ensure that sectors of the population do not feel a need to take the law in their own hands and set up a parallel justice system. Second, leaders of civil society and those holding state power should strive to reduce polarization and inter-community tensions that can lead to scapegoating and new cycles of violence. Third, government should introduce legislation restricting the possession of arms in private hands.

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by Tom Parker

Abstract
Terrorism is a contingent political strategy. At the outset, terrorist groups are by their very nature marginal, lacking in popular support, and limited in terms of the physical force they can project. Even the weakest states are powerful in comparison, blessed with far more substantial resources in terms of men, material and treasure. Left to their own devices, terrorists will rarely possess sufficient force to successfully attain their political goals. The genius of generations of terrorist planners has been to explicitly seek to turn the state’s strength to their advantage, provoking government after government to overreact to the threat they pose by introducing draconian security measures, curtailing civil liberties, and infringing established human rights protections. This in turn results in a greater polarization of the population, the radicalization of greater numbers of the terrorists’ potential constituents, and the undermining of the state’s legitimacy both at home and abroad. This strategy has been appositely described as “political jujitsu.” Furthermore, contemporary social science research into individual processes of radicalization suggests that witnessing or experiencing abuse at the hands of state officials is a leading driver of violent extremism. Adhering to international human rights law can help prevent states from falling into the terrorists’ trap, and making a bad situation commensurately worse.

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