Lecture at the Nosmo Methodology day March  9 2007 University of Utrecht, Utrecht, The Netherlands, Europe


The combat of terrorism as a societal problem: a look at the US discussion on data mining

Frans A.J. Birrer , Science & Society , Leiden University E-mial: birrer@liacs.nl


The combat of terrorism currently is a prominent societal problem at least at two levels: first there is the problem of how to counter terrorism; secondly, the proposed programs for the combat of terrorism form themselves a problem because of their potential (side)effects.

Obstructions to a more balanced problem solving can be found in the sphere of social dilemmas, as well as (closely connected) in the quality of public argumentation (I call this whole complex 'systems of subliminal enticement').

An illustrative case is the US discussion on the use of data mining for tracing terrorist activity. Central in the presentation will be an analysis of arguments in the so called TAPAC report. In this report the problem of 'systems of subliminal enticement' surfaces in a relatively distinct way.

From this example I will demonstrate the analysis of systems of subliminal enticement, and discuss some of the specific methodological issues involved, such as its explicit problem solving orientation, and the efficacy of the "pragma dialectic rules" for discussions.


Dr. Dorien  DeTombe (MSc.Ph.D.)

Chair International Research Society on Methodology of Societal Complexity

P.O. Box. 3286, 1001 AB Amsterdam, The Netherlands, Europe

Tel: +31 20 6927526

E-Mail: DeTombe@nosmo.nl ; http://www.geocities.com/doriendetombe




©Dorien J. DeTombe, All rights reserved, first announced February  2007