Skip to main content
Article
The Rule of Law in the Fight against Terrorism
American Journal of Political Science (2013)
  • Tiberiu Dragu, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • Mattias K Polborn
Abstract
What is the role of legal limits on executive power, if any, when citizens demand more security from terrorism and allowing executive officials legal flexibility of action appears necessary to achieve it? We develop a game-theoretic model to show that when the executive faces increased electoral incentives to provide security and has legal flexibility to choose any policy it finds optimal, security from terrorism can actually decrease. In contrast, when the executive faces increased electoral incentives to provide security and there is an explicit legal limit on executive counterterrorism activities, security from terrorism increases. We also show that the executive achieves the objective of terrorism prevention more effectively when there are some limitations on its counterterrorism powers. The article provides a security rationale for legal limits on executive power and has implications for understanding how to design the institutional structure of liberal governments when the social objective is terrorism prevention.
Disciplines
Publication Date
2013
Citation Information
Tiberiu Dragu and Mattias K Polborn. "The Rule of Law in the Fight against Terrorism" American Journal of Political Science (2013)
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/polborn/22/