A comparative study of American and European strategies against terrorism and their impact on the UN’s counter-terrorism work
This thesis reviews the role given to the UN in American and European strategy concepts against terrorism and their impact on the organization’s work. The literature on “new wars” is discussed to elaborate on changes in warfare. Guzman’s neo-institutionalist theory of International Law helps understanding the role of international organizations. September 11, 2001, established terrorism as a significant global threat, to which the UN reacted by taking several institutional steps. Yet, the reforms of the UN are marked by disparities in the definition of terrorism. The EU anti-terrorism strategy is in line with the approaches of the UN. For the U.S., multilateralism plays an important role in the American strategy, albeit less out of ideological conviction but more out of pragmatism and rationalism. Eventually, a convergence between anti-terrorism strategies can be observed. Nevertheless the remaining structural problem is that the UN was created to resolve disputes between states but is now challenged to cope with a problem between states and diffuse, trans-national non-state actors, which may or may not be supported or harbored by states.