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Can Militants Use Violence to Win Public Support? Evidence from the Second Intifada

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  • David A. Jaeger
  • Esteban F. Klor
  • Sami H. Miaari
  • M. Daniele Paserman

Abstract

This paper investigates whether attacks against Israeli targets help Palestinian factions gain public support. We link individual level survey data to the full list of Israeli fatalities during the period of the Second Intifada (2000-2006), and estimate a flexible discrete choice model for faction supported. We find some support for the “outbidding” hypothesis, the notion that Palestinian factions use violence to gain prestige and influence public opinion within the community. In particular, the two leading Palestinian factions, Hamas and Fatah, gain in popularity following successful attacks against Israeli targets. Our results suggest, however, that most movement occurs within either the secular groups or the Islamist groups, and not between them. That is, Fatah’s gains come at the expense of smaller secular factions while Hamas’ gains come at the expense of smaller Islamic factions and the disaffected. In contrast, attacks by the Palestinian Islamic Jihad lower support for that faction.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 16475.

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Date of creation: Oct 2010
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Publication status: published as Jaeger, David A., Esteban Klor, Sami Miaari, and M. Daniele Paserman (forthcoming) “Can Militants Use Violence to Win Public Support? Evidence from the Second Intifada,” (with Esteban Klor, Sami Miaari, and M. Daniele Paserman), Journal of Conflict Resolution.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:16475

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  1. Jaeger, David A. & Paserman, Daniele, 2007. "The Shape of Things to Come? Assessing the Effectiveness of Suicide Attacks and Targeted Killings," IZA Discussion Papers 2890, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. David A. Jaeger & M. Daniele Paserman, 2005. "The Cycle of Violence? An Empirical Analysis of Fatalities in the Palestinian-Israeli Conflict," Working Papers 22, Department of Economics, College of William and Mary.
  3. M. Daniele Paserman & Esteban F. Klor & Sami H. Miaari & David A. Jaeger, 2011. "The struggle for Palestinian hearts and minds: Violence and public opinion in the Second Intifada," Boston University - Department of Economics - Working Papers Series WP2011-047, Boston University - Department of Economics.
  4. Jaeger, David A. & Paserman, Daniele, 2006. "Israel, the Palestinian Factions, and the Cycle of Violence," IZA Discussion Papers 1923, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  5. Gould, Eric D. & Klor, Esteban F., 2009. "Does Terrorism Work?," CEPR Discussion Papers 7589, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. Claude Berrebi & Esteban F. Klor, 2008. "Are Voters Sensitive to Terrorism?: Direct Evidence from the Israeli Electorate," Working Papers 477-1, RAND Corporation Publications Department.
  7. Blomberg, S. Brock & Hess, Gregory D. & Weerapana, Akila, 2004. "Economic conditions and terrorism," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 20(2), pages 463-478, June.
  8. Jaeger, David A. & Paserman, M. Daniele, 2009. "The Shape of Things to Come? On the Dynamics of Suicide Attacks and Targeted Killings," International Quarterly Journal of Political Science, now publishers, vol. 4(4), pages 315-342, December.
  9. Eli Berman & David D. Laitin, 2008. "Religion, Terrorism and Public Goods: Testing the Club Model," NBER Working Papers 13725, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Efraim Benmelech & Claude Berrebi & Esteban F. Klor, 2009. "The Economic Cost of Harboring Terrorism," NBER Working Papers 15465, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Kydd, Andrew & Walter, Barbara F., 2002. "Sabotaging the Peace: The Politics of Extremist Violence," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 56(02), pages 263-296, March.
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Cited by:
  1. David A. Jaeger & Esteban F. Klor & Sami H. Miaari & M. Daniele Paserman, 2008. "The Struggle for Palestinian Hearts and Minds: Violence and Public Opinion in the Second Intifada," Working Papers 72, Department of Economics, College of William and Mary.

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