Rethinking democracy and terrorism: a quantitative analysis of attitudes to democratic politics and support for terrorism in the UK

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The relationship between democracy and terrorism remains a source of significant debate, with academic evidence suggesting that democracy both inhibits, and encourages, acts of terrorism and political violence. Accepting this apparent contradiction, this paper argues that a more nuanced approach to understanding political systems, focussing on the subjective perceptions of individual actors, may allow these differences to be reconciled. Using regression analysis undertaken with UK data from the European Values Study, the results shows how attitudes to politics may frame assessments of the intrinsic valence – or attractiveness – of political participation, support for terrorism, and the implications this may have for both counter-terrorism and counter-extremism policy.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)52-61
Number of pages10
JournalBehavioral Sciences of Terrorism and Political Aggression
Issue number1
Early online date9 Nov 2016
Publication statusPublished - 2017
Externally publishedYes


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