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Introduction to What Makes a Terrorist: Economics and the Roots of Terrorism
[What Makes a Terrorist: Economics and the Roots of Terrorism]

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Author Info

  • Alan B. Krueger

    (Princeton University, National Counter-terrorism Center)

Abstract

Many popular ideas about terrorists and why they seek to harm us are fueled by falsehoods and misinformation. Leading politicians and scholars have argued that poverty and lack of education breed terrorism, despite the wealth of evidence showing that most terrorists come from middle-class, and often college-educated, backgrounds. In What Makes a Terrorist , Alan Krueger argues that if we are to correctly assess the root causes of terrorism and successfully address the threat, we must think more like economists do. Krueger is an influential economist who has applied rigorous statistical analysis to a range of tough issues, from the minimum wage and education to the occurrence of hate crimes. In this book, he explains why our tactics in the fight against terrorism must be based on more than anecdote and speculation. Krueger closely examines the factors that motivate individuals to participate in terrorism, drawing inferences from terrorists' own backgrounds and the economic, social, and political conditions in the societies from which they come. He describes which countries are the most likely breeding grounds for terrorists, and which ones are most likely to be their targets. Krueger addresses the economic and psychological consequences of terrorism. He puts the terrorist threat squarely into perspective, revealing how our nation's sizeable economy is diverse and resilient enough to withstand the comparatively limited effects of most terrorist strikes. And he calls on the media to be more responsible in reporting on terrorism. What Makes a Terrorist brings needed clarity to one of the greatest challenges of our time.

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Bibliographic Info

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This chapter was published in: Alan B. Krueger , , pages , 2007.

This item is provided by Princeton University Press in its series Introductory Chapters with number 8465-1.

Handle: RePEc:pup:chapts:8465-1

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Web page: http://press.princeton.edu

Related research

Keywords: terrorism; poverty; education; statistical analysis; politics; social conditions; psychological consequences;

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Cited by:
  1. Martin Gassebner & Simon Luechinger, 2011. "Lock, Stock, and Barrel: A Comprehensive Assessment of the Determinants of Terror," CESifo Working Paper Series 3550, CESifo Group Munich.
  2. Mehmood, Sultan, 2013. "Terrorism and the macroeconomy: Evidence from Pakistan," MPRA Paper 44546, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  3. Friedrich Schneider & Tilman Brück & Daniel Meierrieks, 2010. "The Economics of Terrorism and Counter-Terrorism: A Survey (Part II)," CESifo Working Paper Series 3012, CESifo Group Munich.
  4. Gary S. Becker & Yona Rubinstein, 2011. "Fear and the Response to Terrorism: An Economic Analysis," CEP Discussion Papers dp1079, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  5. Gould, Eric D. & Klor, Esteban F., 2009. "Does Terrorism Work?," CEPR Discussion Papers 7589, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. Krueger, Alan B., 2008. "What makes a homegrown terrorist? Human capital and participation in domestic Islamic terrorist groups in the U.S.A," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 101(3), pages 293-296, December.
  7. Hillman, Arye L., 2010. "Expressive behavior in economics and politics," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 26(4), pages 403-418, December.
  8. Adeline Delavande & Basit Zafar, 2011. "Stereotypes and madrassas: experimental evidence from Pakistan," Staff Reports 501, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  9. Yener Altunbas & John Thornton, 2009. "Human Capital And The Supply Of Home-Grown Islamic Terrorists In The Uk," Working Papers 09001, Bangor Business School, Prifysgol Bangor University (Cymru / Wales).
  10. Eric Werker, 2012. "The Political Economy of Bilateral Foreign Aid," Harvard Business School Working Papers 13-026, Harvard Business School.

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