Bombs, Bullets, and Politicians
In the weeks following the 9/11 attacks, the mainstream political elite in Washington, DC acquiesced to every major decision taken by George W. Bush's administration while partisan politics in Congress ceased. As a nation and its representatives rallied around their leader, the diversity of opinions and the role of political opposition seemed suddenly less vital. A similar unity materialized in the aftermath of the attacks on Charlie Hebdo in January 2015, as millions marched across Paris and the "Marseillaise" resonated throughout France. Emphasizing France's distinctive struggle against terrorism between 1980 and 2016, Bombs, Bullets and Politicians presents a comparative analysis of how political elites react to terrorist attacks in five western democratic states. Demonstrating that the magnitude and frequency of terrorist acts determines whether political elites rally around the flag or rail against the government, Christophe Chowanietz formulates hypotheses on the likely impact of various patterns of terrorist actions. He first tests these hypotheses quantitatively in relation to an existing database of incidents, and then qualitatively in the effects that terrorist attacks have had in France. Shedding light on the difference in reactions between mainstream, radical, right-wing, and left-wing parties, Chowanietz argues that terrorism never fails to disrupt the political game. In an age when the news is dominated by terrorist threats and debates on what to do about them, Bombs, Bullets, and Politicians offers a pertinent analysis of the relationship between terrorism and the conduct of the West's party politics.
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