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Foreign terror on Americans

Author

Listed:
  • Eric Neumayer

    () (Department of Geography and Environment, London School of Economics)

  • Thomas Plümper

    (Department of Government, University of Essex)

Abstract

Americans are a major target of international terrorism. Yet, terrorists from some countries are much more likely to attack American citizens than terrorists from other countries. Similarly, anti-American terrorism from a specific foreign country is much more prevalent during certain periods than others. This article develops a rational theory of international terrorism, which argues that attacking foreign nationals is of strategic value to terrorists even if they ultimately aim at gaining political influence in their home country. Attacking foreigners is the more attractive to domestic terrorists the more the terrorists' home government depends on military support from the foreign country. Applied to the US case, our theory predicts that more anti-American terrorism emanates from countries that receive more US military aid and arms transfers and in which more American military personnel are stationed, all relative to the country's own military capacity. Estimations from a directed country dyad sample over the period 1978 to 2005 support the predictions of our theory for both terrorist incidents involving Americans and terrorist killings of Americans as dependent variables. These results are robust to a wide range of changes to the empirical research design.

Suggested Citation

  • Eric Neumayer & Thomas Plümper, 2011. "Foreign terror on Americans," Journal of Peace Research, Peace Research Institute Oslo, vol. 48(1), pages 3-17, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:sae:joupea:v:48:y:2011:i:1:p:3-17
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Dimant, Eugen & Krieger, Tim & Meierrieks, Daniel, 2017. "Negative returns: U.S. military policy and anti-american terrorism," Discussion Paper Series 2017-05, University of Freiburg, Wilfried Guth Endowed Chair for Constitutional Political Economy and Competition Policy.
    2. Eric Neumayer & Thomas Plümper, 2016. "Spatial spill-overs from terrorism on tourism: Western victims in Islamic destination countries," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 169(3), pages 195-206, December.
    3. Krieger, Tim & Meierrieks, Daniel, 2013. "The rise of market-capitalism and the roots of anti-American terrorism," Discussion Paper Series 2013-04, University of Freiburg, Wilfried Guth Endowed Chair for Constitutional Political Economy and Competition Policy.
    4. James A. Piazza, 2016. "Oil and terrorism: an investigation of mediators," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 169(3), pages 251-268, December.
    5. Krieger, Tim & Meierrieks, Daniel, 2014. "The Roots of Islamist Armed Struggle, 1968-2007," Annual Conference 2014 (Hamburg): Evidence-based Economic Policy 100579, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    6. Meierrieks, Daniel & Krieger, Tim, 2015. "Modernization and Islamist Conflict," Annual Conference 2015 (Muenster): Economic Development - Theory and Policy 113142, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    7. Redlin, Margarete & Gries, Thomas & Meierrieks, Daniel, 2014. "Oppressive Governments, US Closeness, and Anti-US Terrorism," Annual Conference 2014 (Hamburg): Evidence-based Economic Policy 100588, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.

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