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NCJ Number: 150079 Find in a Library
Title: On the Discussion of Threat and on Its Ambiguities
Journal: Cahiers de la Securite Interieure  Issue:14  Dated:(August-October 1993)  Pages:179-196
Author(s): D Bigo
Date Published: 1993
Page Count: 18
Type: Presentation
Format: Article
Language: French
Country: France
Annotation: This article analyzes the growing number of threats in today's world and attempts a meaningful definition of the term "threat."
Abstract: The use of threats against democratic governments has increased dramatically since the disintegration of the Communist bloc, the opening of borders in Europe, and the emergence of international crime and terrorism networks. Today the term "threat" is applied to numerous different phenomena including terrorism, drug trafficking, and immigration. However, the conventional definition of the term presupposes the existence of two equal and clearly identifiable opponents--for example, two hostile countries. This definition holds true for only some of today's threats: for example, some organized crime groups and terrorist organizations which can endanger the foundations of a state and which must be opposed. In many cases, however, the term "threat" is applied to ill defined and substantially weaker opponents. For example, should drug users be termed a threat to the state, or the immigrants from an unfriendly country, or small drug dealers from abroad? The article concludes that if the term "threat" is used too broadly and indiscriminately, it will itself become a "threat" to government stability because it spreads insecurity among the population.
Main Term(s): Crime prevention planning
Index Term(s): International terrorism; Organized crime; Security; Threat assessment
Note: Paper presented at International Conference for Comparative Police Systems and Supports, Paris, December 1- 4, 1992
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