The Review of International Organizations

, Volume 10, Issue 3, pp 329–349 | Cite as

Do human rights violations hinder counterterrorism cooperation? Evidence from the FBI’s deployment abroad

  • Asif EfratEmail author


The impact of human rights on counterterrorism cooperation has been the subject of speculation, but not of systematic analysis. This study offers such an analysis by examining an important channel of cooperation against terrorism: international police liaisons, such as the FBI agents deployed worldwide. It is hypothesized that police liaisons are less likely to be sent to countries where human rights violations are widespread, since repressive governments see threat in foreign agents stationed on their territory. Survival analysis finds support for this hypothesis. An FBI presence does not require democratic government or a strong rule of law in the host country; but human rights abuse reduces the likelihood of an FBI deployment. These findings substantiate a link between human rights and counterterrorism cooperation, offering insights for the study of cross-border law enforcement and transgovernmental networks.


Terrorism Counterterrorism Crime Law enforcement Police Human rights FBI International cooperation Transgovernmental networks 

JEL Classifications

F52 F55 



I thank Amnon Cavari, Anna Getmansky, Eliav Lieblich, Barak Mendelsohn, Assaf Moghadam, Alex Quiroz Flores, Doug Stinnett, the editor of RIO, and two anonymous reviewers for helpful comments and advice. Guy Freedman, Einat Gedalya, Yotam Kreiman, and Tal Tzurel provided research assistance.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Lauder School of Government, Diplomacy and Strategy and Institute for Policy and StrategyInterdisciplinary Center (IDC)HerzliyaIsrael

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