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Terrorism and the state


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  • Konrad, Kai A.


This paper considers terrorism as an extortion activity. It uses tools from the theory of extortion and from conflict theory to describe how terrorism works, why terrorism is a persistent phenomenon, why terrorism is a violent phenomenon, and how retaliation affects the outcome. The analysis highlights the importance of information aspects and discusses some aspects of the organizational design. -- Anhand der frühen terroristischen Organisation der Ismaili aus dem 11. bis 13. Jahrhundert wird deutlich, dass zwischen Schutzgelderpressung und Terrorismus keine klare Trennlinie existiert. Die Ismaili waren zeitweise als Staat organisiert, teilweise eine Organisation ohne eigenes Territorium. Sie nutzten die gleichen Instrumente zur Durchsetzung politischer, religiöser und rein finanzieller Ziele. Diese strukturelle Äquivalenz wird genutzt, um einige Ergebnisse aus der Theorie der Schutzgelderpressung für das Verständnis der Funktionsweise von Terrorismus abzuleiten. Die formale Analyse konzentriert sich dabei auf ein fundamentales Informations- und Glaubwürdigkeitsproblem, das anhand der Berichte über die Ismaili deutlich wird. Dieses Informationsproblem kann erklären, weshalb Terrorismus ein mehrperiodisches Phänomen ist, warum Terrorismus mit Gewalt einhergeht, weshalb Terroristen eine öffentliche Sichtbarkeit ihrer Anschläge bevorzugen und wie Gegenschläge und Versuche der Zerschlagung einer terroristischen Organisation in diesem Zusammenhang zu bewerten sind. Kurz werden weitere Aspekte diskutiert, die für das Verständnis von Terrorismus wichtig sind, in der formalen Analyse aber ausgeblendet werden.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB) in its series Discussion Papers, Research Unit: Market Processes and Governance with number FS IV 02-15.

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Date of creation: 2002
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Handle: RePEc:zbw:wzbmpg:fsiv0215

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Keywords: Terrorism; extortion; credibility; retaliation; Ismaili;

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References listed on IDEAS
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  1. Abadie, Alberto & Gardeazabal, Javier, 2001. "The Economic Costs of Conflict: A Case-Control Study for the Basque Country," Working Paper Series, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government rwp01-048, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
  2. Lapan, Harvey E. & Sandler, Todd, 1988. "To Bargain or Not to Bargain: That is the Question," Staff General Research Papers, Iowa State University, Department of Economics 10817, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  3. Lapan, Harvey E. & Sandler, Todd, 1993. "Terrorism and signalling," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 9(3), pages 383-397, August.
  4. David Kreps & Robert Wilson, 1999. "Reputation and Imperfect Information," Levine's Working Paper Archive 238, David K. Levine.
  5. Enders, Walter & Sandler, Todd & Parise, Gerald F, 1992. "An Econometric Analysis of the Impact of Terrorism on Tourism," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 45(4), pages 531-54.
  6. Enders, Walter & Sandler, Todd, 2000. "Is Transnational Terrorism Becoming More Threatening? A Time-Series Investigation," Staff General Research Papers, Iowa State University, Department of Economics 1823, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  7. Konrad, Kai A., 2001. "Privacy and time-consistent optimal labor income taxation," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 79(3), pages 503-519, March.
  8. Landes, William M, 1978. "An Economic Study of U.S. Aircraft Hijacking, 1961-1976," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 21(1), pages 1-31, April.
  9. Konrad, Kai A. & Skaperdas, Stergios, 1997. "Credible threats in extortion," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 33(1), pages 23-39, May.
  10. Enders, Walter & Sandler, Todd, 1996. "Terrorism and Foreign Direct Investment in Spain and Greece," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 49(3), pages 331-52.
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Cited by:
  1. Jan Schnellenbach, 2006. "Appeasing nihilists? Some economic thoughts on reducing terrorist activity," Public Choice, Springer, Springer, vol. 129(3), pages 301-313, December.


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