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Frontiers of FearImmigration and Insecurity in the United States and Europe$
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Ariane Chebel d’Appollonia

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780801450686

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9780801450686.001.0001

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The Security/Insecurity Spiral

The Security/Insecurity Spiral

(p.136) Chapter 5 The Security/Insecurity Spiral
Frontiers of Fear

Ariane Chebel d’Appollonia

Cornell University Press

This chapter examines the security/insecurity escalation by which a (real or perceived) sense of insecurity leads to the implementation of further security measures. It first evaluates the effectiveness of restrictive immigration policies in countering terrorism before explaining how counterterrorist strategies lead to insecurity. It shows how the overgeneralized characterization of terrorism tends to disconnect the perception of threat from the real level of insecurity. It argues that the increasing volume of counterterrorism activity has led to the proliferation of multilevel bureaucratic agencies on both sides of the Atlantic that suffer from similar flaws: they are hampered by a vague catchall definition of terrorism and a subsequent expansion of policies to tackle security-related issues that are not related to terrorism. The chapter considers how this multiplication of agencies has damaged the credibility of those authorities involved in the war on terror, and how the security–insecurity spiral justifies more discriminatory measures against targeted sectors of society.

Keywords:   insecurity, immigration policies, terrorism, counterterrorism, multilevel bureaucratic agencies, war on terror, security

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