4 Items

Journal Article - Quarterly Journal: International Security

What Terrorists Really Want: Terrorist Motives and Counterterrorism Strategy

| Spring 2008

The strategic model—the dominant paradigm in terrorism studies—claims that terrorists are rational actors who attack civilians to achieve political goals. To defeat terrorism, policymakers have sought to decrease its political utility by adhering to a no concessions policy, engaging in political accommodation, and promoting democracy. The evidence suggests, however, that terrorists are not motivated primarily by a desire to achieve political objectives. Rather, they use terrorism to develop strong affective ties with fellow terrorists. Counterterrorism strategies must therefore find ways to diminish the social utility of terrorism.

Journal Article - Quarterly Journal: International Security

Why Terrorism Does Not Work

| Fall 2006

Terrorism may be a choice method of political coercion at the moment, but this study finds that it is not very successful. Terrorists who attack civilian populations rather than military targets fail to achieve their policy objectives, because countries whose populations are victims of massive terrorist violence are highly unlikely to negotiate, let alone make political concessions, with terrorists whose actions imply that they will not compromise.