Public safety and the moral dilemma in the defense against terror

Raphaël Franck, Arye L. Hillman, Miriam Krausz*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


The economic theory of defense has traditionally described public safety as achieved through investments that deter adversaries. Deterrence is, however, ineffective and pre-emptive defense is required when a population of intended victims confronts supreme-value suicide terror. A moral dilemma then arises, since pre-emption may impose collective punishment, while in the absence of pre-emption the population of intended victims is exposed to acts of terror. We consider how a population of intended terror victims confronts the moral dilemma, and compare the threatened population's response with the public-safety recommendations of external judges who are not personally affected by the threat of terror.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)347-364
Number of pages18
JournalDefence and Peace Economics
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Counter-terrorism
  • Defense economics
  • Defensive pre-emption
  • International judges
  • Profiling
  • Terror


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