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Motivating operatives for suicide missions and conventional terrorist attacks


  • Daniel G Arce
  • Kevin Siqueira


We investigate the problem of motivating terrorist operatives for suicide missions and conventional terrorist attacks when operatives have either self-interested or social preferences that are not observable by the terrorist organization. We characterize the screening mechanism for selecting operatives according to their social preferences and determine under what conditions a terrorist group will prefer to utilize suicide versus conventional tactics. For example, when operatives are intrinsically motivated and likely to be represented in the pool of potential recruits, a terrorist organization will be more likely to employ suicide attacks as its sole tactic of choice.

Suggested Citation

  • Daniel G Arce & Kevin Siqueira, 2014. "Motivating operatives for suicide missions and conventional terrorist attacks," Journal of Theoretical Politics, , vol. 26(4), pages 677-695, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:sae:jothpo:v:26:y:2014:i:4:p:677-695

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    Cited by:

    1. Siqueira, Kevin & Arce, Daniel, 2020. "Terrorist training: Onsite or via the Internet?," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 63(C).
    2. Mario Gilli & Paolo Tedeschi, 2020. "European Union and Transnational Terrorism. A Normative Analysis of Strategic Spillovers," Working Papers 437, University of Milano-Bicocca, Department of Economics, revised Mar 2020.
    3. Nicola, Brugali & Paolo, Buonanno & Mario, Gilli, 2018. "Political Regimes and the Determinants of Terrorism and Counter-terrorism," Working Papers 384, University of Milano-Bicocca, Department of Economics, revised 13 Jul 2018.


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