Chapter

Coping with the Threat of Terrorism

in Democracy at Risk

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print October 2009 | ISBN: 9780226520544
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226520568 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7208/chicago/9780226520568.003.0002
Coping with the Threat of Terrorism

Show Summary Details

Preview

During times of collective crisis — in particular, terrorist threat — individuals may experience heightened distress, anxiety, hopelessness, loss of control, worry, fear, and anger. By their very nature, collective crises create conditions in which solutions remain out of the reach of individual decisions or actions. Reacting to conditions of terrorist threat, people may adopt one or more coping strategies that affect how they perceive and treat fellow individuals, their political leaders, and other nations. This chapter discusses three such strategies. The first coping strategy is the expression of increased distrust and authoritarianism in one's assessments of other individuals. The second is coping via strong leadership and charisma, and searching for a heroic political leader whose status is elevated and protected in order to increase one's feelings of efficacy and/or safety. The third strategy is an increased preference for dual foreign policy objectives whereby individuals seek to “lock down” the homeland while at the same time engage abroad. The chapter concludes by considering the ways in which conditions of terrorist threat may (or may not) place democracy at risk.

Keywords: coping strategies; democracy; terrorist threat; collective crisis; distrust; authoritarianism; leadership; charisma; foreign policy; political leader

Chapter.  10024 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: US Politics

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.