The War on Terror and Civil Liberties
This chapter begins with a brief review of public attitudes toward civil liberties during World War II, the Vietnam War, and the Cold War. It then provides a brief overview of the scholarly literature on public opinion regarding civil liberties. The body of the chapter shows how the events of September 11, 2001, dramatically raised the level of salience regarding national security and in doing so altered the landscape of opinion regarding civil liberties. Since then, public opinion regarding civil liberties has increasingly polarized along partisan lines. The chapter closes by reiterating that support for restrictions on civil liberties has risen and declined with Americans' perceptions of an imminent terrorist threat.
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