Date of Award


Publication Type

Master Thesis

Degree Name



Sociology and Anthropology

First Advisor

Reza Nakhaie


Social sciences




This paper explores some of the central factors in society that determine whether the Canadian public will support or oppose the Canadian government's domestic security initiatives aimed at preventing terrorism. A recent surge in security awareness in the Western world spurred by the threat of global terrorism has seen the re-formulation of its security structures and the professionals they employ by using intensive surveillance methods and personal information collection previously restrained by law. Previous literature, primarily from the United States, has begun to illustrate the important role that trust and the media have on predicting whether a public will support counterterrorism policies that restrict civil liberties. In light of this, using the International Surveillance and Privacy Opinion Research Survey (2006), this thesis attempts to contribute to this range of literature from a Canadian perspective by exploring the role of trust, knowledge, and the media in predicting support or opposition for a more intensive security state and whether knowledge of these security infrastructures mediates their relationship. Bivariate and multivariate analyses reveal that trust in government is the strongest determinant of whether people will support counterterrorism policies. While media is also a significant predictor, it is found that trust, and not knowledge, seems to mediate the relationship of media on supporting these policies. Theoretical frameworks and policy implications are also discussed.