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uni'wissen 01-2016_ENG

tember 2001, the majority of the American popu- lation called for or at least welcomed tighter security measures. As a result, the US govern- ment freed up immense sums for police, military, and secret service to take action against terrorists. According to Krieger, several studies have esti- mated spending for the resulting wars in Afghan- istan and Iraq at around 16 billion dollars – per month. The government in Paris also reacted with military operations in November 2015: The French air force began bombing IS positions in Syria just two days after the attacks. Moreover, there are so-called reaction costs. They result from the fact that people change their lifestyle, their consumption or saving patterns, or their means of transport for fear of further attacks. In the USA, the Freiburg researcher observed an interesting avoidance reaction that also had an economic impact: Many people were afraid of flying and began instead using their cars even for long-distance domestic travel. This led to more than 300 additional road casualties per month in the time after 11 September 2001, because there were more accidents on the roads. “On account of the emotions aroused by the attacks, people had a hard time correctly assessing risks.” In their fear of falling victim to a terrorist strike them- selves, the Americans overestimated this risk – disregarding the fact that the probability of getting into an automobile accident is much greater. A Vicious Circle These costs slowed down the economy and also had an impact extending beyond mere eco- nomic aspects, says Krieger: “It might be difficult to measure the costs of people feeling less com- fortable and happy as a whole in terms of typical economic categories, but these costs are none- theless present.” The citizens of unstable coun- tries like Northern Ireland, which was regularly targeted by terrorist attacks in the past, or Israel are more liable to act in accordance with short- term interests and save less money. Moreover, when countries are hit regularly by attacks they become less interesting for foreign business investments. “This leads to a vicious circle,” the economist explains, “because a strong economy can deprive terrorism of a fertile breeding ground.” Plus, not every country has the financial resources available to the USA or France: “Poor countries have no means of defending themselves against terrorist attacks and therefore have to reckon with economic consequences that are even more severe.” Even though France is currently shouldering great expenses as a result of the November 2015 attacks, Krieger does not see a threat for the country’s economy: “We know from research that people’s life satisfaction decreases sharply after an attack but rises again rapidly.” Terrorism only becomes a problem for the economy when it becomes a constant threat like in Israel. “France and Europe are very far from being threatened to this degree.” Krieger places great emphasis on developing a modern interpretation of regulatory policy, a research field that has previously been confined to Germany. He wants to extend the scope of his research across boundaries – both geographi- cally and with regard to its content. “Conflict research in particular has been overlooked in regulatory policy,” he says. But a change in per- spective is vital precisely in view of transnational terrorists fighting against the current global order. The Terrorists’ Cost–Benefit Analysis “Conflict research has been overlooked in regulatory policy.” Mayor of Paris Anne Hidalgo, French President François Hollande, and US President Barack Obama (from left) mourn the victims of the attacks in Paris on 13 November 2015: The goal of the attacks was to hit the country hard and attract media attention. Photo: Mike Pryor/Wikimedia Commons 6 uni wissen 01 2016 6 uni wissen 012016