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Reforming Counterterrorism: Institutions and Organizational Routines in Britain and France


This article seeks to explain why two states faced with a similar terrorist threat, perceiving it in a similar way, and drawing the same broad implications for their counterterrorist investigations, have nevertheless put in place significantly different types of organizational reforms in response to that threat. The study shows that although France and Britain have embraced a common preventive logic in the face of Islamist terrorism, the changes that they have made to the coordination of intelligence, law enforcement, and prosecution in that context have differed because of contrasting organizational routines and interinstitutional conventions in the two states. An analysis of the British and French cases shows that law enforcement can be preventive but that western states are likely to pursue different ways of bringing security agencies and the law together to prevent and prosecute terrorism. The organizational and institutional factors that give rise to such divergent practices have important consequences for the ability of a state to develop a coordinated operational response to terrorism and convict terrorist suspects of crimes in a court of law.

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Foley, Frank. 2009. "Reforming Counterterrorism: Institutions and Organizational Routines in Britain and France." Security Studies 18 (July): 435-478. http://cisac.stanford.edu/publications/reforming_counterterrorism_insti…

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