Formulating an appropriate response to terrorism presents all governments with an acute political dilemma. On the one hand, by failing to act decisively a government runs the risk of providing terrorist groups with the opportunity to consolidate in order to launch further and even more devastating attacks. On the other hand, there is the opposite danger of over-reacting. After all, one of the key objectives of terrorism is to provoke states into adopting security policies that expose the commitment to constitutional rule as being shallow, hypocritical and contingent upon circumstances. By inviting a ‘terror against terror’, the terrorist hypothesis is that violent attacks can cause governments to derogate from key constitutional principles, and that such a suspension of norms exposes the limits of the rule of law and undermines the moral authority of the state. Striking an appropriate balance between the need for action and the danger of over-reaction has, post-9/11, become a pressing issue for all governments as they formulate counter-terrorism policy. This chapter will examine some of the key issues raised by Japan's response to the 9/11 attacks and the global ‘war on terrorism’ that has followed. In responding to 9/11, many liberal democracies substantively expanded the coercive powers of the criminal law as well as the investigative powers of state agencies.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Social Sciences(all)