SS Notes 4: Terrorism
Impact of terrorism
Factors: Economic, social and politicalFormat: XXXX factor is an important impact of terrorismEconomic: Terrorism has tremendous economic impact, especially after a terrorist act has occurredin a country or region. Such acts cause a loss of faith and confidence of consumers and prospectiveinvestors. This causes economic loss to the country or region. In addition, tourism suffers as touristsavoid areas that have been recently attacked by terrorists. An example is the aftermath of theSeptember 11 attacks. The airline industry lost a lot of revenue as consumer confidence was shakenby the attacks. The government had to step in to provide economic help to the airline industry toprevent airline companies from closing down. Thus, economic impact is an important impact of terrorism.Social: Acts of terrorism can create feelings of animosity and suspicion among the various ethnicitiesand religious groups living in a country or region. This causes social conflict and may lead toexplosive race riots. This threat is particularly pervasive in a multi-ethnic country like Singapore. Inaddition frequent terrorist attacks cause inhabitants of a country or region to feel threatened andtraumatized. An example of this is Israel, which has experienced frequent terrorist attacks. A publicopinion poll carried out by the National Security Studies Centre at the University of Haifa, found thatin October 2000, 80 percent of Israeli Jews polled declared that they feared terrorist attacks againstthemselves or close family members. Although this far from an objective indicator of anything, itgives a general sense of how the public feels and provides an insight into the societal psyche of Israelis. The trauma caused to the populace has a detrimental effect on the country. Thus, socialimpact is an important impact of terrorism.Political: Governments have a responsibility to keep citizens safe from terrorists. Much pressure isoften placed on governments to prevent terrorist acts as well as relieve the hardships caused byterrorism. For example, the Indonesian government faced pressure to relieve the economichardships faced by the people in Bali after the 2002 attack. Also, airport security is tightened inorder to prevent terrorism. Critics argue that these measures and laws infringe on individualfreedom and personal privacy. Thus, governments face pressure from both sides which may cause ashift in power in certain countries. Thus, political impact is an important impact of terrorism.BOCSocial impact>all other factors: Social impact is the most important factor as it is the root cause of the other impacts. The purpose of terrorism is not to mutilate or murder but to attack the socialcohesion of a country and to strike fear within the populace with the hopes of promoting chaos andconfusion. The fear that terrorism creates translates to both economic and political impacts. The lossof consumer confidence is a reason for economic problems faced by countries after a terrorist attack.The widespread fear and panic caused by acts of terrorism breeds a desire to halt it, leading toalmost paranoid measures and laws imposed at border security. Thus social impact causes botheconomic and political impact. Thus social impact is the most important factor.