Radicalization as a reaction to failure: An economic model of Islamic extremism
AbstractThis paper views Islamist radicals as self-interested political revolutionaries and builds on a general model of political extremism developed in a previous paper (Ferrero, 2002). Extremism is modelled as a production factor whose effect on expected revenue is initially positive and then turns negative, and whose level is optimally chosen by a revolutionary organization. The organization is bound by a free-access constraint and hence uses the degree of extremism as a means of indirectly controlling its level of membership with the aim of maximizing expected per capita income of its members, like a producer co-operative. The gist of the argument is that radicalization may be an optimal reaction to perceived failure (a widespread perception in the Muslim world) when political activists are, at the margin, relatively strongly averse to effort but not so averse to extremism. This configuration is at odds with secular, Western-style revolutionary politics but seems to capture well the essence of Islamic revolutionary politics, embedded as it is in a doctrinal framework. Copyright Springer Science + Business Media, Inc. 2005
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Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by Springer in its journal Public Choice.
Volume (Year): 122 (2005)
Issue (Month): 1 (January)
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Web page: http://www.springerlink.com/link.asp?id=100332
Other versions of this item:
- Ferrero, Mario, 2002. "Radicalization as a reaction to failure: an economic model of islamic extremism," POLIS Working Papers 31, Institute of Public Policy and Public Choice - POLIS.
- D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
- D74 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Conflict; Conflict Resolution; Alliances
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