Scholar Studies Impact of Terrorism on
The more the United States continues to face terrorist attacks, the more
the economies of developing countries will continue to suffer as a result.
Lebanese-French scholar Daniel Mirza, currently an associate professor
of economics at the University of Rennes in France, argued this thesis
in a lecture entitled "Are Lives a Substitute for Livelihoods? Terrorism,
Security, and United States Bilateral Imports," hosted by the Prince
al Waleed bin Talal Center for American Studies and Research (CASAR) on
December 18 in West Hall.
Selecting from a vast repertoire of empirical evidence gathered between
1968 and 2002, Mirza framed his talk against "the economic backdrop
of the ongoing global trade-versus-security imbroglio." He said that
the amount of consumer products imported by any country can serve as a
yardstick by which economists can gauge the particular level of security
that country is imposing through its trade regulations. Consequently,
an increase in trade creates lower security incentives and a higher probability
of successful terrorist attempts, and vice versa.
Mirza delineated two main reasons behind this choice of the United States
in relation to the links of terrorism on commerce. He said that the United
States has, for more than three decades, been almost exclusively the target
of invasive attacks from different terrorist groups based in ninety-five
countries. Moreover, ninety percent of these incidents have targeted American
interests-- and citizens-in countries outside North America. Before 1990,
the main "terrorist reservoirs" were Colombia, Paraguay, Palestine,
and Greece. Since then, countries like the Philippines, Pakistan, and
the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia have also been blacklisted.
Mirza concluded that the huge amount of yearly American imports ensures
that the average American consumer is not affected by export sanctions
imposed on developing countries. By controlling the prospective revenues
of their exports, the "only superpower in the world today" continues
to gain significant leverage in negotiating diplomatic relations with
countries that are conscious or unwitting terrorist sanctuaries.
Professor Mirza is a research fellow at the Center for International Studies
and Prospectuses in Paris and at the Globalization and Economic Policy
Center at Nottingham University in England. His main research interests
are labor markets and international trade.