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Does Terrorism Work?

Author

Listed:
  • Eric D. Gould
  • Esteban F. Klor

Abstract

This paper examines whether terrorism is an effective tool to achieve political goals. By exploiting variation in terror attacks over time and across locations in Israel from 1984 to 2006, we show that local terror attacks cause Israelis to be: (i) more willing to grant territorial concessions to the Palestinians; (ii) more willing to accept a Palestinian state; (iii) less likely to identify oneself as being right-wing; and (iv) more likely to have a favorable opinion of Arabs. These effects are especially pronounced for individuals from particular demographic groups which are typically right-wing in their political views. In addition, we show that terror induces Israelis to vote increasingly for right-wing parties. This pattern of results demonstrates that right-wing parties are becoming more accommodating to Palestinian demands for territorial concessions. Hence, this paper shows that terrorism appears to be an effective strategy in terms of shifting the entire Israeli political landscape to the left. These findings may shed light on the causes underlying the spread of global terrorism in the last few decades.

Suggested Citation

  • Eric D. Gould & Esteban F. Klor, 2009. "Does Terrorism Work?," Economics of Security Working Paper Series 12, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:diw:diweos:diweos12
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    File URL: http://www.diw.de/documents/publikationen/73/diw_01.c.354138.de/diw_econsec0012.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • D74 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Conflict; Conflict Resolution; Alliances; Revolutions

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