Public Choice

, Volume 178, Issue 3–4, pp 445–471 | Cite as

Security policy preferences of EU citizens: Do terrorist events affect them?

  • Athina Economou
  • Christos KolliasEmail author


This article examines whether terrorist attacks affect citizens’ policy preferences by focusing on attitudes toward EU security and defense policy as recorded by the 2016 Eurobarometer survey. The survey was conducted a few months after the 2015 terrorist attacks in Paris. Both the January and November terrorist incidents captured worldwide attention, claimed many lives, and caused France to declare a state of emergency. To identify the presence or absence of a statistically traceable and significant effect on security policy preferences, expressed by French citizens in the Eurobarometer survey, we compare and contrast the responses from survey participants in an aggregate EU sample and in two other EU member states. In broad terms, our results indicate that the effect of the terrorist attacks was rather weak and short-lived, and affected only a limited number of policy preferences.


Terrorism Security policy preferences Decomposition analysis Eurobarometer survey 

JEL Classification

D74 D91 F51 H12 



The paper has greatly benefited from insightful comments and suggestions by Todd Sandler, two anonymous referees, and the participants of the 8th Conference on Political Violence and Policy, Center for Global Collective Action, University of Texas at Dallas, 17–18 May 2018. We are also grateful to the Editor in Chief for editorial corrections that improved the final version of the manuscript. The usual disclaimer applies.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Laboratory of Economic Policy and Strategic Planning, Department of EconomicsUniversity of ThessalyVólosGreece

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