The Management of Global Crisis.

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The Management of Global Crisis  

   The Terrorism Case Within the EU Policies

From the beginning the paper has to take into account some methodological limitations, due to the fact that the research paper will examine the terrorism case only   from the perspective of  the European liberal democracy. By doing so, it assumes that the analise of a limited framework it is enough for proving the international  character of terrorist activity.In this way the paper shows that the European terrorism case is to some extent particular, but in the same time it has a strong common ground with worldwide terrorism.

For the last three decades, the liberal democracies have been facing a normative dilemma: how should they act consistently against terrorism in such a manner that the result         should meet at least two conditions- efficiency and democratic acceptable? It seems that between the compromising politics of democracies and the violent actions of terrorist, there is a procedural gap, in which the first is in a disadvantaged position. It is the state able to use unconstitutional measures in order to be more efficient, and by doing so loosing democratic accountability? The answer is certainly no. For this reason the liberal state avoid indiscriminate countermeasures against terrorist actions. To a certain extend the problem of the liberal state acting efficient, so necessarily ‘undemocratic’, is incorrect. At the beginning, specific anti-terrorist legislation was implemented (as a result of social outputs) only in those countries where terrorism became a serious problem. So the state’s aggressive campaigns not only were suported by citizens, but in fact were requested by the public opinion. Than, the state developed legitimate institutions with certain task in solving the new occured specific problems.

Behind political decisions there is the core of western democracies behaviour -the liberalism. The essential feature of liberalism, is the belief in freedom of opinion and conduct. For the classical liberals such as John Stuart Mill, the belief in the freedom to act and to choose in a way fitted to someone expectations, was the very core of humanity:

Yet to conform to custom merely as a custom, does not educate or develop in him  any of the qualities which are the distinctive endowment of human being. The human facilities of perception, judgement, discriminative feeling, mental activity, and even moral preference, are exercised only in making a choice.

                                                                                            (Mill 1991:65)

Someone may argue that the liberal perspective maximized the individual liberty of acting, to an anarchic system's extend. That is why a primary purpose of the liberal state is to design a place in which individual autonomy is exercised without adversely affecting the autonomy of the others. To implement this condition the state is using its coercion power to restrict action that would otherwise be injurious to the other citizens. So criminal law is seen as a necessarily and desirable restraint on liberty in order to protect the individual right of being free of arbitrary interference from the others. So the terrorist action is not tolerated in the context of any liberal state. The terrorist action is seen as a threat for the liberal state, in asmuchas its long -term objective is the removal of the social support away from the state. As Peter Chalk notices in the West European Terrorism and Counter-Terrorism (Macmilian Press Ltd. 1996) p.95.”Terrorism is seen foremost, as a psychological tactic .Its aim is not to destroy, but rather to induce a general state of fear… by encouraging people to think that the government is no longer able to fulfil its primary security function…so, terrorism can be viewed as a peculiar type of

Minority tyranny which denies any rights that are separate from or beyond its own particular brands of politics.”

The term ’terrorism’ originally appeared during the1789 French revolution to describe the activities of the revolutionary Jacobin regime. According to Laqueur (Laqueur 1987:11), “it was initially used in a positive sense by the jacobins when speaking about themselves”. After the death of Robespierre it becomes a term of abuse that since than has been associated with criminal conotations. The concept gains its systematic nature later on during the emergence of the anarchist movement across Europe - the second half of the nineteenth century. The conceptualize of terrorism is a very difficult process because it implies a lot of variables to take into account. First it becomes a vague concept attributed wrongly to all types of illegal political activity and violence. More important is that it has an intrinsic negative connotation, so most of the definitions label it in terms of right and wrong. Therefore, ”terrorism can be defined as the systematic use of illegitimate violence that is employed by sub-state actors as a means to achieve specific political objectives…it is a psychological tactic that seeks to spread fear-inducing effects in a target group wider than the immediate audience through the actual or feared indiscriminate target of non combat victims and property…In order to fulfil effectively its communicative function, terrorism must aim to maximize publicity and the perpetrators must claim responsibility for their actions”(Chalk1996:22).

From this extended definition, some aspects need further details. For instance a terrorist group implies political activity -meaning that all terrorist groups has certain political objectives: its ultimate objective is to influence political decission /behaviour. Even though it does manifest as a criminal activity. Similar to most of the anarchic theories, terrorism is seeking to gain political control by means of psychological terror, implying indiscriminate terror. The lack of discrimination drive the terror to its climax, hence everyone is a potential target. This does not mean that terrorist action is randomly or that it has no certain target, but that terrorist actions will not necessarily limits their activity to the target group. It is hard to imagine a bombing campaign without ‘unengaged’

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casualties. For this reason it involves both military and noncombatant civilian victims.

The deliberate murder of innocent civilians is seen as an effective mean of inducing

‘general’ terror. For the same reason terrorist action might be directed against governmental troops which are not deployed in an active combat context. Such actions

outrageously encrouch upon the basic moral rules which govern ‘the war game’. The

terrorist action does seek to generate a long-term social anxiety by using repeated violent acts. The very essence of the terrorist behaviour is getting noticed. The population-as asocial base, and the military force must ...

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