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Terrorist success in hostage-taking missions: 1978–2010

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  • Charlinda Santifort

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  • Todd Sandler

    ()

Abstract

This article investigates the determinants of logistical and negotiation successes in hostage-taking incidents using an expanded dataset that runs from 1978 to 2010. Unlike an earlier study, the current study has a rich set of negotiation variables in addition to political, geographical, and organizational variables associated with the perpetrators or targets of the attacks. The 33 years of data permit a split into two subperiods: 1978–1987 and 1988–2010, before and after the rise of religious fundamentalist terrorist groups. Logistical success depends on resource and target vulnerability proxies, while negotiation success hinges on bargaining variables. Among many novel findings, democracy significantly hampers logistical success throughout the entire period. Kidnappings, tropical climates, and high elevations foster logistical success. Religious fundamentalist terrorists’ logistical advantage during 1978–1987 was lost during 1988–2010. Abducting protected persons, making demands on the host country, and staging incidents in a democracy limit negotiation success for the terrorists. If terrorists moderate or replace one or more demands, the likelihood of negotiation success for the terrorists goes up. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2013

Suggested Citation

  • Charlinda Santifort & Todd Sandler, 2013. "Terrorist success in hostage-taking missions: 1978–2010," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 156(1), pages 125-137, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:pubcho:v:156:y:2013:i:1:p:125-137
    DOI: 10.1007/s11127-012-0008-z
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Claude Berrebi & Darius Lakdawalla, 2007. "How Does Terrorism Risk Vary Across Space And Time? An Analysis Based On The Israeli Experience," Defence and Peace Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 18(2), pages 113-131.
    2. Efraim Benmelech & Claude Berrebi, 2007. "Human Capital and the Productivity of Suicide Bombers," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 21(3), pages 223-238, Summer.
    3. Lapan, Harvey E & Sandler, Todd, 1988. "To Bargain or Not to Bargain: That Is the Question," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(2), pages 16-21, May.
    4. Enders,Walter & Sandler,Todd, 2012. "The Political Economy of Terrorism," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521181006.
    5. Khusrav Gaibulloev & Todd Sandler, 2009. "Hostage Taking: Determinants of Terrorist Logistical and Negotiation Success," Journal of Peace Research, Peace Research Institute Oslo, vol. 46(6), pages 739-756, November.
    6. Enders, Walter & Sandler, Todd, 2000. "Is Transnational Terrorism Becoming More Threatening? A Time-Series Investigation," Staff General Research Papers Archive 1823, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
    7. Brandt, Patrick T. & Sandler, Todd, 2009. "Hostage taking: Understanding terrorism event dynamics," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 31(5), pages 758-778, September.
    8. S. Blomberg & Khusrav Gaibulloev & Todd Sandler, 2011. "Terrorist group survival: ideology, tactics, and base of operations," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 149(3), pages 441-463, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. Alexander Fink & Mark Pingle, 2014. "Kidnap insurance and its impact on kidnapping outcomes," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 160(3), pages 481-499, September.
    2. Brandt, Patrick T. & George, Justin & Sandler, Todd, 2016. "Why concessions should not be made to terrorist kidnappers," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 44(C), pages 41-52.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Hostage-taking; Logistical success; Negotiation success; Logit regressions; Democracy; Religious fundamentalists; C25; D74; H56;

    JEL classification:

    • C25 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Discrete Regression and Qualitative Choice Models; Discrete Regressors; Proportions; Probabilities
    • D74 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Conflict; Conflict Resolution; Alliances; Revolutions
    • H56 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - National Security and War

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