Understanding drivers of punitive attitudes towards counter-terrorism measures: An experimental vignette study

Harley Williamson1
1Griffith University, Brisbane, Australia

The threat of terrorism has catalysed a series of preventative and reactive legislative responses, which have received widespread public and political support. Paralleling these measures are pervasive discourses that associate terrorism with Muslims and Islam. The normalisation of this rhetoric within social and political narratives can be problematic not only for the livelihoods of those who feel targeted, but also for the perpetuation of reactive responses to national security threats. This presentation draws on experimental vignette data to understand how the public perceives Australian counter-terrorism measures, and whether such attitudes are shaped by perceptions of threat.

Harley Williamson is a PhD Candidate at Griffith University in Brisbane, Australia. Her dissertation focuses on how people may come to support terrorism, and the role of social identity processes in shaping supportive attitudes. Harley is also interested in public perceptions of terrorism and issues related to this phenomenon.


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