Contrasting Approaches to Terrorism: A Multi-National Comparison

Erin Gibbs Van Brunschot, Leslie W. Kennedy


In the aftermath of the terrorist attacks in the United States on September 11, 2001, the Prime Ministers of Australia, Canada, and the United Kingdom began the task of framing these events through their many public addresses and speeches. Given their different geographic locations and political cultures, and their experiences with terrorism, the ways in which these attacks were framed differed. Each prime minister was concerned with managing local circumstances in the face of global challenges to security. As the most public representatives of their respective countries, their effort to frame events in particular ways is critically important in terms of how the local and global public interprets events.  We examine the period immediately following 9/11 and consider how communication about these events was impacted by general and specific terrorist security threats against these countries; their respective political histories with the United States; and the resources available to each prime minister (and his country) to address these concerns. Finally, we consider the legislation that has been put in place by these three countries to deal with terrorism.

Full Text: