Rational Choice Vs. Rational Decision Essay

Rational Choice Vs. Rational Decision Essay

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Rational choice is based on the belief criminals act in a rational way. Rational choice could be related to terrorism when you understand how terrorist acts, their beliefs, and their actions. Terrorism happens when there are suitable targets, motivated offenders, especially without strong ties to the community, such as those who are unemployed, and absence of guardians such as the police, which would be explained by rational choice theory (Anderton & Carter, 2005). Like other forms of violent crime terrorist attacks are usually carried out by young males (Silke, A. 2003). This is important fact to know for law enforcement to know who to target. A Rational choice view of terrorism has certain factors to consider such as timing, international public opinion, territory, and population. Since terrorists have to evade counterterror agents, they must attempt to pick a time and place that is unexpected but will have great influence on the world. When international public opinion of the United States is negative, is a good time a rational terrorist organization would plan to attack to highlight their political agenda (Anderton & Carter, 2005). Suicidal terrorists see themselves as martyrs and rationalize by the awards they will get in the next life. These rational choices show how rational choice theory is applicable to terrorist groups.
A General Theory of Crime can relate to terrorism that uses group participation. Group participation is a way that terrorist groups are able to complete certain difficult goals similar to gangs or other groups that are involved in deviant behavior together (Gottfredson and Hirschi, 1990). Attacks like 9-11 would not be possible without the groups working together. There are key elements that go along wit...


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It is difficult it is to gain accurate intelligence from people who do not trust you (Virta, 2008). Trust with the community can greatly help against counter-terrorism (Demos, 2007). The police must be the ones who reach out and to the communities to build a better relationship. When there are communities that have no communication and or collaboration with the police it makes it a safe zone for terrorist cells and recruitment. When there is not intelligence coming from the community the police do not have many other options than using traditional tactics that may lead to more to more frustration and anger (Murphy, 2005). Also using traditional tactics focus on deterrence theory that may not work with terrorists. Terrorists are often martyr’s so they expect to die in the attack so the threat of punishment (De Guzman, 2002), even the death penalty, might not work.

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