A Department of Homeland Security Center of Excellence led by the University of Maryland

A consortium of researchers dedicated to improving the understanding of the human causes and consequences of terrorism

The Spatial Diffusion of Counterterrorist Legislation, 1970-2011

The Spatial Diffusion of Counterterrorist Legislation, 1970-2011


Ostensibly, nations adopt counterterrorist legislation in response to terrorist attacks and/or in an attempt to prevent future attacks. Yet, recent data on global historical trends suggest a decoupling of counterterrorist legislation and actual terrorist acts. Furthermore, previous studies of state policies demonstrate that actors often adopt policies for a variety of reasons, many of which are unrelated to the declarative purposes of these policies. In this article, I examine the factors that predict counterterrorist legislation. Analyzing national-level counterterrorist legislation in 145 countries between the years 1970 and 2011, I find limited support for actor-oriented theories of policy diffusion, but more substantial support for sociological approaches, in particular those emphasizing spatial and cultural diffusion.

Publication Information

Full Citation: 

Shor, Eran. 2016. "The Spatial Diffusion of Counterterrorist Legislation, 1970-2011." Social Problems (November). http://socpro.oxfordjournals.org/node/64322.abstract

Publication URL: 
Visit Website

Additional Info

Research Area: