Counter-terrorist Strategies in Western Europe: A Comparative Analysis of Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK
Title: Counter-terrorist Strategies in Western Europe: A Comparative Analysis of Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK
Author: MURO, Diego
Series/Report no.: EUI MWP; 2010/06
What should an effective counter-terrorist strategy look like? Can any lessons be drawn from past European experiences? How does terrorism end? Having answers to these three questions would be of great help to both practitioners and scholars interested in the disbandment of home-grown terrorist groups. Preventing processes of radicalization and, if at all possible, enabling the reverse process of de-radicalization has become a priority objective for EU Member States. And yet, there is a curious gap in the literature with respect to the precipitants and facilitators of terrorist disengagement. This paper provides a qualitative analysis of how four Western European states – Italy, Germany, Spain, and the UK – dealt with groups employing political violence and terrorism, and what lessons can be learned from these policies that can be applied towards future counterterrorism campaigns. The disbandment of two ethno-nationalist groups - the Irish Republican Army (IRA) and the politicalmilitary branch Euskadi Ta Askatasuna (ETA-PM) - and two revolutionary groups - the Red Army Faction (RAF) and the Red Brigades (RB) – are examined in order to identify some of the policies that facilitate abandonment, defection, decline or defeat.
Subject: Political violence; terrorism; exit strategy; disbandment; stalemate
Type of Access: openAccess