Publication Date


Document Type


Committee Members

Liam Anderson (Committee Member), Donna Schlagheck (Committee Chair), Vaughn Shannon (Committee Member)

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Democratic states are more susceptible to terrorist attacks and yet have the most responsibility to ensure their counterterrorism responses are in accordance with democratic principles. Respect for the rule of law and the freedoms of speech and press are just a few of the principles ingrained in democratic philosophy and likewise, by the very nature of a democracy, democratic states must be held accountable to their citizenries. These factors, however, can be a cause of dissention and can lead to a dangerous overreaction or a disproportionate response by democratic states in their counterterrorism policies, including leading to the very undemocratic response of restricting civil liberties. This thesis researches and analyzes the counterterrorism policies of Britain and Spain and applies the theory of Moral Panics to evaluate how Moral Panics has influenced their respective counterterrorism policies to account for the discrepancy found between the British and Spanish state responses to terrorism.

Page Count


Department or Program

Department of Political Science

Year Degree Awarded