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Terrorism as Economic Warfare


  • Lutz James M

    () (Department of Political Science, Indiana University-Purdue University at Fort Wayne)

  • Lutz Brenda J

    () (Decision Sciences and Theory Institute, Indiana University-Purdue University at Fort Wayne)


The choice of targets for terrorist attacks is often considered to be random or illogical. In other cases targets are seen as being chosen for their symbolic importance to the audience the terrorists are seeking to reach or to indicate that no area of the country is safe. Terrorist groups, however, also choose their targets because of the economic impact that the attacks will have. There are patterns in economic attacks since different groups choose different kinds of targets. There may be increases in economic targeting, especially in the tourism sector where attacks create economic hardship and to reduce revenues for the governments. Foreign investment projects have also become frequent targets because of their economic potential for increasing government capacities. Trade activities and foreign aid projects have also become targets. In an increasingly global economy, such attacks have an even greater potential for destabilization effects.

Suggested Citation

  • Lutz James M & Lutz Brenda J, 2006. "Terrorism as Economic Warfare," Global Economy Journal, De Gruyter, vol. 6(2), pages 1-22, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:bpj:glecon:v:6:y:2006:i:2:n:2

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