Public Perception of the Effectiveness of Seven Counterterrorism Practices




Hild, R Christopher C

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This thesis focuses on public perception of the effectiveness of seven counterterrorism practices and policies. Using a survey of undergraduate and graduate students from 2005, this study examines two research questions: 1) Does the public believe specific counterterrorism strategies—installing video surveillance cameras in public places, conducting bag and package searches on planes, trains, subways and buses, monitoring internet communications, examining financial statements, monitoring telephone communications, reviewing library records and examining medical records—are effective, and 2) What factors influence perceptions of effectiveness? The results indicate that a vast majority of respondents believe that the practices are effective, with the exception of reviewing library records and examining medical records. Findings from multivariate analyses suggest that confidence in the government to prevent terrorism is a key predictor of perceived effectiveness across all seven practices.



Counterterrorism, September 11 Terrorist Attacks, 2001, Public opinion, Effectiveness, Patriot Act, Public perception