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Worried in Sweden: The effects of terrorism abroad and news media at home on terror-related worry
Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Human Sciences, Department of Economics, Geography, Law and Tourism. (Risk and Crisis Research Centre)
Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Human Sciences, Department of Humanities and Social Sciences. (Risk and Crisis Research Centre)ORCID iD: 0000-0001-5000-311X
2020 (English)In: Journal of Risk Research, ISSN 1366-9877, E-ISSN 1466-4461Article in journal (Refereed) Epub ahead of print
Abstract [en]

We investigate whether terrorist activity abroad affects worry regarding terrorism in Sweden, and the possible mediating effect of news media. Terrorism uses violence to obtain political or social objectives: in addition to the impact on the immediate victims, terrorism affects a much wider audience emotionally by spreading fear and insecurity. Previous research shows that terrorist attacks in a country cause worry for the people in that country; however, little is known about the relationship between public worry and terrorist attacks abroad. This study draws from the Global Terrorism Database (GTD), the Norwegian Defence Research Establishment (FFI), the Swedish press archive Mediearkivet, and the Swedish National Annual Survey (SOM), producing a theoretical model using Generalized Structural Equation Modelling (GSEM). The results show that public worry about terrorism co-varies with the frequency of terrorist activity occurring in the wider geo-cultural region, even if outside of the country of residence. It also shows that public worry is affected not only by single, impactful attacks – so-called ‘one-off’ attacks – but also by an increase in the number of total (even if less individually impactful) attacks in the region. Notably, media coverage ameliorates the impact of terrorism on public worry to some degree. For policy makers these results are particularly important since they show that even in countries free of terrorist events, public fear needs to be managed.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2020.
Keywords [en]
Risk perception, worry, terrorism
National Category
Social Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-38725DOI: 10.1080/13669877.2020.1738528ISI: 000519491000001Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85081743859OAI: oai:DiVA.org:miun-38725DiVA, id: diva2:1417232
Available from: 2020-03-27 Created: 2020-03-27 Last updated: 2020-04-03Bibliographically approved

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Rashid, SamanOlofsson, Anna

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Citation style
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