Counterterrorist Legislation Effects on Human Rights and Civil Liberties: A Global Perspective

  • Eran ShorEmail author
Living reference work entry
Part of the International Human Rights book series (IHR)


Following the 9/11 terrorist attacks, most nations have passed new counterterrorist legislation. One of the common assumptions about such legislation is that it is almost always detrimental to individual human rights and civil freedoms. The majority of past studies, which examined a diverse set of countries, has suggested that this is indeed the case and that counterterrorist legislation almost always results in subsequent repression. In this chapter, I reassess these assumptions in a more systematic fashion, analyzing large-scale cross-national data. The analyses presented here rely on a comprehensive database of nation-level counterterrorist legislation and update my work reported in 2016 in Social Science Research and in Studies in Conflict and Terrorism in 2018. These analyses show that the effects of legislation vary by levels of initial repression. Legislation has a negative effect on respect for civil liberties in countries with moderate levels of repression. However, this effect diminishes or disappears in traditionally non-repressive countries and reverses in countries with high levels of repression.


Terrorism Counterterrorist legislation Human rights Civil liberties Cross-national 


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© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of SociologyMcGill UniversityMontrealCanada

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