Challenges for Democracies in Responding to Terrorism: A View from Canada and Israel

  • Jean-Sébastien Rioux University of Calgary
  • Maureen Shields University of Calgary


The November 2015 terrorist attacks at the Bataclan concert hall and sidewalk cafés in Paris, the March 2016 bombing at the Brussels airport, and the mass shooting at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Fla. in June 2016 are just a few examples of the horror and loss of life inflicted on innocent civilians by individuals affiliated with, or supporting the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS). Canada is not immune: in October 2014 two ISIS-inspired attacks, one in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Que. and one in Ottawa, resulted in the deaths of Warrant Officer Patrice Vincent and Cpl. Nathan Cirillo. More recently, ISIS vowed to make the month of Ramadan a bloodbath in Europe and America.2 Heightened awareness, attention, and concern among western democracies surround the issue of terrorism on home soil. And there are serious challenges in addressing such threats.
Briefing Papers