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Terrorism in the Worlds of Welfare Capitalism

  • Tim Krieger

    (Department of Economics, University of Paderborn, Germany,

  • Daniel Meierrieks

    (Department of Economics, University of Paderborn, Germany)

This contribution argues that social policies ameliorate poor short-run and long-run socioeconomic conditions (e.g., unemployment, poverty, inequality, and dissatisfaction), thereby indirectly reducing terrorist activity. The authors empirically assess the influence of social policies (indicated by social spending and welfare regime variables) on homegrown terrorism for fifteen Western European countries during the 1980—2003 period. The authors find that higher social spending in certain fields (health, unemployment benefits, and active labor market programs) is associated with a significant reduction in homegrown terrorism, while spending in other fields (e.g., public housing) is not. Moderate evidence furthermore indicates that the different worlds of welfare capitalism differently affect homeland terrorism. Social democratic welfare regimes that create low levels of market dependence are on average less prone to domestic terrorist activity. The findings suggest that homegrown terrorism in Western Europe may also be fought by higher spending in certain fields and more generous welfare regimes.

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Article provided by Peace Science Society (International) in its journal Journal of Conflict Resolution.

Volume (Year): 54 (2010)
Issue (Month): 6 (December)
Pages: 902-939

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Handle: RePEc:sae:jocore:v:54:y:2010:i:6:p:902-939
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