Terror threats and civil liberties: when do citizens accept infringements of civil liberties?

Walter L. Brent Van der Hell, Hjalti Björn Hrafnkelsson, Gunnar Helgi Kristinsson
2021 Stjórnmál og Stjórnsýsla  
Threats from subversive or threatening enemies are sometimes invoked by governments to justify infringements of civil liberties. The present article is concerned with the factors likely to affect citizen acceptance of such infringements as legitimate and necessary. A survey was conducted to evaluate the disposition of respondents to the relative prioritisation of security over civil liberties. The results indicate that even in a rather secure setting, where threats from terror can be considered
more » ... relatively distant, citizens have a disposition towards prioritising security, although this depends on the degree of anxiety, political trust and general social trust. Anxiety leads to greater willingness to accept infringements, as does trust in government while general social trust leads to smaller receptiveness in this respect.
doi:10.13177/irpa.a.2021.17.1.1 fatcat:7ighhdz5ujf2hgxbfkbondi4ta