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Rock and a Hard Place: Public Willingness to Trade Civil Rights and Liberties for Greater Security



Our research examines the implications of political beliefs for the relationship between preferences for freedom and security. We briefly situate the relationship in historical context and relate it to today's struggle with terrorism. Then we examine the influence of political beliefs on normative preferences for how liberty and security should be related and for perceptions of how they currently are being balanced. Using original data from a national Internet survey of more than 3,000 respondents, we examine causal relationships among core, domain, and policy context beliefs for preferences about balancing freedom and security.