Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Departmental Honors


Political Science


After the devastating attacks on American soil on September 11th, 2001, the world's perceptions of security changed forever. Immediately following the attacks, the United States government passed the USA PATRIOT Act, broadening definitions of terrorism and codifying unconstitutional acts, such as unwarranted searches of private property, indefinite holding of suspected terrorists, and ultimately torturing those suspects. This act has had several long term implications leading to a reduction in the quality of American democracy, which subsequently affected other liberal democracies around the world through violations of basic democratic principles, or civil liberties, such as: due process, physical attacks, and freedom of speech. Through the study of the definitions, history, precedents, and what democracies traditionally value, this capstone attempts to explain how anti-terrorism legislation can have potentially grave consequences for democracies and how those consequences set a negative precedent for future legislation.



Faculty Mentor

Laura Gamboa

Departmental Honors Advisor

Colin Flint