Economic Implications Of Terrorism

Posted by Somjeeta Chatterjee in Politics
March 26, 2017

Frankly speaking, I and many other fellow global citizens have grown tired of the incessant terrorist attacks that are happening in every corner of the world. Having observed a string of such events in recent years, I have been compelled to pen my thoughts on this matter. This article is a tribute to all those innocent individuals, who have been victims of such vengeful endeavours to disturb the unity in diversity. Undoubtedly, the social cost of terrorism is enormous! However, whilst it feels frivolous to raise this issue, I cannot help but wonder about the myriad economic implications of such events.

First and foremost, increased counter-terrorism measures and stricter border controls, which have been implemented as a result of increased security threats, have enormous opportunity costs.  Instead of greater public spending on healthcare or education, governments are forced to allocate a significant proportion of their budget on unproductive activities, for example, expanding military and surveillance. This is detrimental in the long run, for it hindrances economic growth and the subsequent betterment of an individual’s standard of living. Perhaps, if terrorist attacks didn’t occur in the first place, efficient resource allocation could reduce the economic grievances of a large segment of the global population, which often play a fundamental role in the process of radicalisation.

Moreover, the immediate impacts on the short-term markets can potentially destroy the domestic economy of a nation. The obliteration of the priceless remnants of ancient civilisations has caused many tourism industries to flounder, as evident in the aftermath of the recent terror attacks in Turkey. Besides, an immediate repercussion of an attack could be the decrease in the confidence of investors and consumers, which would cause indexes to plummet. Even if the stock markets were to quickly rebound, which was what happened after the September 11 attacks, the real economic cost might be much higher. In this case, research conducted by The New York Times states that the figure may have been as high as $3.3 trillion.

This brings me on to my final point; terrorist attacks and their resultant humanitarian crises can prove to be economically burdensome for other countries, who may already be on the verge of collapse. This is particularly true for countries in Western Asia, such as Jordan and Lebanon, who have endured the impact of most of the Syrian refugee crisis. It has cost Jordan more than $2.5 billion a year, which accounts for 6% of their GDP, as per an estimate by the World Bank. These fragile neighbouring countries have been put under tremendous budgetary pressure and are on the verge of economic crises of their own, resulting in many having to shut their doors against vulnerable refugees.

Therefore, from this analysis, it can be concluded that there is a distinct relationship between the occurrence of terrorist attacks in a nation and the hindrance to its economic growth. Hence, nations and esteemed international organisations must invest in individuals and societies across the world in the longer term – especially those who are vulnerable to radicalisation. They must balance this with investment on advanced defence systems. Doing so will reduce the occurrence of terrorism and its associated socio-economic consequences in the future.

article source: (my blog website)