The effect of terrorism on public attitudes and individual wellbeing in Great Britain

The effect of terrorism on public attitudes and individual wellbeing in Great Britain’ is a 2-year project funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC). It aims to develop adequate capabilities to manage the consequences of terrorist attacks.

The effect of terrorism on public attitudes and individual wellbeing

The fight against terrorism has long been a top priority for Western democracies, intensified by recent attacks in Paris, London, Berlin and Madrid. Yet, despite continued experiences of terrorist violence, researchers and the government still do not know the true cost of the violence. 

There are many existing studies that look into the costs of terrorism, particularly those commissioned by governments to better understand the financial implications, but research on the effects of terrorism on public attitudes and individual wellbeing is in its infancy. 

Dr Georgios Efthyvoulou is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Economics at the University of Sheffield. He joins Professor Bove at the University of Warwick and Dr Pickard at the University of Newcastle in examining whether and how terrorism has shaped public sentiments and subjective wellbeing in Great Britain over the period 1990-2020. 

The research aims to inform strategic thinking and enable more effective policy intervention. In particular, this work will be presented to the Home Office to raise awareness of the indirect effects of terrorism and help the UK government develop appropriate strategies to minimize its costs, so that the country can recover quickly in the aftermath of a terrorist incident. As such, it will contribute to the UK's Strategy for Countering Terrorism (CONTEST) to ‘reduce the risk to the UK [...] from terrorism, so that people can go about their lives freely and with confidence’. 

“Our findings can also have tangible benefits for other stakeholders who are interested in mitigating the negative societal consequences of terrorism like the NATO and the International Institute for Strategic Studies” said Dr Efthyvoulou. “I hope our findings can stimulate a wider public debate about alternative counter-terrorism policies and the language used by political leaders and the media when referring to terrorist events.”

Find out more about Dr Georgios Efthyvoulou’s work

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