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Counterterrorism Measures and Civil Society

by Center for Strategic and International Studies

Published | March 2018

Tackling impacts of counter-terrorism


"Counterterrorism Measures and Civil Society" explores the effects of counterterrorism on civil society and ways to disentangle them.

Why read

This report is helpful for civil society actors to understand how counterterrorism measures are entangled with human security and thus affect civil society and measures to tackle these effects.


To combat the global threat of terrorism, countries have passed and implemented numerous laws that inadvertently or intentionally diminished the space for civil society. States conflate terrorism with broader issues of national security, which is then used as a convenient justification to stifle dissent, including civil society actors that aim to hold governments accountable. As the global terror landscape becomes more complex and dire, attacks on the rights to the freedom of expression, association, and peaceful assembly only increase.

This report analyzes the impact of counterterrorism efforts on civic space, examines its manifestations in various socioeconomic and political contexts, and explores various approaches to disentangle and reconcile security and civil society.

It features case studies on Australia, Bahrain, Burkina Faso, Hungary, and India.


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