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Undergraduate Degree Programs

These course descriptions are not being updated as of August 1, 2016. Current course descriptions are maintained in LionPATH.

Economics (ECON)

ECON 409W Economics of Terrorism (3) Terrorism throughout history; economic causes, costs, sources, and consequences.

ECON 409W Economics of Terrorism (3)

This microeconomics seminar examines the economics of terrorism. Beginning with a survey of terrorism through history and extending to terrorism in the 21st century, economic tools are deployed to better understand the causes and sources of terror.

Terrorism imposes substantial economic costs, but there are also significant costs with policies to combat terrorism. A society is better off if the threat of terrorism can be reduced, or even eliminated, just as it is better off if the threat of crime can be reduced or eliminated. There are some economic roots of terrorism, but these have more to do with the incentives and constraints that individuals and organizations face than with any specific set of easily quantifiable factors that push people toward involvement in terrorist organizations. This suggest that policy responses to terrorism need to multi-faceted and flexible. Security policies, for example, need to be more cost effective, in order for both to achieve results and to limit the negative consequences of devoting excessive resources to security purposes. Similarly, aid policies need to concentrate on achievable objectives, both to obtain positive results and to provide a more representative and optimistic outlook on the future. Policies need to be targeted at filling in the voids left by weak states and shifting incentive structures within societies away from the use of violence.

General Education: None
Diversity: None
Bachelor of Arts: None
Effective: Summer 2008
Prerequisite: ECON 402

Note : Class size, frequency of offering, and evaluation methods will vary by location and instructor. For these details check the specific course syllabus.


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