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Impact of Terrorism and Governance


Members of French special police forces of Research and Intervention Brigade (BRI) take part in a drill inside the Groupama Stadium in Decines, near Lyon, France, as part of a G6 Interior Ministers meeting of the six largest EU countries to discuss security and anti-terror issues, October 9, 2018. REUTERS/Emmanuel Foudrot – RC1259805A00

Anwesha Ray
Daulat Ram College, University of Delhi

Terrorism aims to create a negative impact on society, with a strong feeling of insecurity among people. It also poses an emotional impact on human lives, as it almost changes people’s beliefs or understanding of reality and life. It leaves people traumatized and stunned for the rest of their lives.

The aftermath of terrorist attacks has always created a traumatizing and negative impact on the mental health of children. The media coverage of such events all over the world has increased mental health-related problems among many individuals and it has increased in the last few years. There is a rising concern regarding the exposure of these violent contents to minors.

Some countries live in constant fear and threat of terrorist attacks and therefore the terrorists are already successful in creating fear in people’s lives, without even taking action. There are two important ways of counter-terrorism. One can be to do everything possible to reduce the chances of terrorism and the second one is managing the fear and mental health of the countries’ citizens. The most important reason for taking up the second way of counter-terrorism is the realization that fear promotes discrimination and polarisation and that creates a way for terrorism. Therefore, politicians and policymakers play an important role in counter-terrorism. Only they can instill a stronger sense of safety among the people.

One of the worst and biggest threats to human beings is terrorism. It has been a threat to the peace both internationally and nationally. Countries have come up together to fight with the help of proper legislation to combat and deal with terrorism. Peace and security are not something that can be compromised upon in national security. Being a secular country, India has accepted and widened its belief in different religions but the sovereignty and integrity of the nation get hurt when terrorism creeps in.

Terrorism has not only created a world of tension and fear but also violates human rights. It also attacks democracy and the law and order of a particular country. It is a menace for the economy, as it attacks the factories and manufacturing units which brings down the economy directly and also the financial markets. It also creates xenophobia among people, therefore there a great loss of tourism, and that further brings down the economy. Hence terrorism creates a havoc socio-economic disruption.

Internal state security, territorial integrity are all at stake due to the attack of terrorism. It endangers the fundamental rights of the people like the right to life which is granted to the people since birth. It not only violates domestic laws but also international humanitarian laws. Terrorism has an inverse relationship with human rights.

After certain security attacks in the United States, the Security Council formed a committee that took up some counter-terrorism approaches. Numerous legislations are adopted to counter-terrorism. For example, the Anti-Terrorism Crime and Security Act 200, Prevention of Terrorism Act, 2002, Terrorism Suppression Act 2002, Biological Weapons Anti-Terrorism Act 1989.

Even in mature and strong democracies like in the United States and countries in Europe, terrorism undermines democratic governments. In recent times terrorist attacks have shifted their target from military to civilians, individuals, and business activities. Which in turn has a high negative impact on the national as well as the global economy. Financial markets indirectly also have a negative impact due to terrorist attacks.  In the aftermath of terrorist attacks, the financial markets were confronted with havoc activity destruction, massive damage to property and communication systems. One of the worst things that can happen to the financial markets is the destruction of the communication system because most of the trading nowadays occurs online.

The impact of terrorism also has negative aspects in health and care. Survivors and witnesses are prone to chronic symptoms of depression and anxiety, trauma, PTSD, strain, and tension. Therefore, the increase in the prevalence of mental health-related problems is one of the consequences of terrorism.

As can be seen that terrorism creates both policy and analytical and also health-related challenges. Breakthroughs in global counter-terrorism governance depend on the developmental aspects of the international community of effective mechanisms. In recent times the global counter-terrorism governance targets terrorism through- hegemonic governance; governance by international organizations; hybrid governance; coordinated governance through major powers. To address the root cause, the international community should encourage governance strategies that implement measures to combat terrorism and also promote coordination.

Terrorism poses a definite new type of risk among companies that are engaged in international businesses. Around the world, government policies have been introduced, a variety of security measures to combat terrorism while trying not to disrupt global trade and investment. Some of the high-profile terrorist attacks like that of United States, Iraq, France, Istanbul, etc, investors had to deal with the realities and also the tragedies of trade due to the attacks. The human life cost was devastating but the economic impact cannot be ignored. In times of crisis like a terror attack, governments and the citizens tend to easily give up on the economic and political freedom and trade it with security.  Furthermore, this could result in a higher tax rate, a high level of government deficit, and also a high rate of inflation. During these conflicting times or in a situation of national emergency, the government implements control over market price and in extreme cases nationalization of industries. When the government starts militarization, the private ownership or the private economies faces a great loss.  The governments become less active at managing resources for production and economic activity and focus on militarization due to national security. These kinds of governance create an uncertain environment of economic depression, having negative impacts on currency, trade, and diplomacy.