Cost-Benefit Assessment and Risk Acceptability of Counter-Terrorism and Protective Measures


► Professor Mark G Stewart

Project Description

The cost of counter-terrorism (CT) and other protective measures can be very large. The project is developing quantitative methods to assess the costs and benefits of CT measures by using cost-effectiveness and fatality risks as criteria for social and risk acceptability. This involves assessing threat probability, risk reduction as a result of CT measures, cost of protective measures, consequences of terrorist attack, damages and lives saved as a result of CT expenditure, etc.

Measures used for decision support include net benefit, cost per life saved and fatality risks. Current work is focusing on infrastructure (particular built infrastructure including buildings and bridges) and aviation security. Much of this work is in collaboration with Prof John Mueller from the Cato Institute and Ohio State University.

Selected Publications

  • Mueller, J. and Stewart, M.G. (2011), Terror, Security, and Money: Balancing the Risks, Benefits, and Costs of Homeland Security, Oxford University Press, Oxford and New York, 2011.
  • Stewart, M.G. (2008), Cost-Effectiveness of Risk Mitigation Strategies For Protection of Buildings Against Terrorist Attack, Journal of Performance of Constructed Facilities, 22(2):115-120.
  • Stewart, M.G. and Mueller, J. (2008), A Cost-Benefit and Risk Assessment of Australian Aviation Security Measures, Security Challenges, 4(3):45-61.
  • Stewart, M.G. and Mueller, J. (2008), A Risk and Cost-Benefit and Assessment of U.S. Aviation Security Measures, Journal of Transportation Security, 1(3):143-159.
  • Stewart, M.G. (2010), Risk-Informed Decision Support for Assessing the Costs and Benefits of Counter-Terrorism Protective Measures for Infrastructure, International Journal of Critical Infrastructure Protection, 3(1):29-40.
  • Mueller, J. and Stewart, M.G. (2011), The Price is Not Right: The U.S. spends too much money to fight terrorism, Playboy, 58(10): 149-50.
  • Stewart, M.G. and Mueller, J. (2013), Terrorism Risks and Cost-Benefit Analysis of Aviation Security, Risk Analysis, 33(5): 893-908
  • Stewart, M.G. and Mueller, J. (2013), Aviation Security, Risk Assessment, and Risk Aversion for Public Decisionmaking, Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, 32(3): 615-633.

The University of Newcastle acknowledges the traditional custodians of the lands within our footprint areas: Awabakal, Darkinjung, Biripai, Worimi, Wonnarua, and Eora Nations. We also pay respect to the wisdom of our Elders past and present.