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Patterns of Force: System Strength, Terrorism and Civil War

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  • Andreas Freytag
  • Daniel Meierrieks
  • Angela Münch
  • Friedrich Schneider

Abstract

We jointly analyze the genesis of terrorism and civil war, providing a simple conceptual framework to explain why violent opposition groups choose distinct forms of violence (i.e., terrorism and open rebellion). We argue that the distinct modes of violent opposition are chosen by violent opposition groups in response to the strengths and weaknesses of the system they challenge. An empirical test of this hypothesis for 103 countries for the period of 1992 to 2004 indeed shows that the socio-economic strength and stability of a system is positively related to the likelihood of terrorism but negatively to incidences of more violent forms of violent opposition. We also show that poor conflict management (as a system weakness) positively impacts the likelihood incidences of more violent modes of violent opposition more likely. Furthermore, we find that system size is positively associated with all analyzed modes of violent opposition.

Suggested Citation

  • Andreas Freytag & Daniel Meierrieks & Angela Münch & Friedrich Schneider, 2010. "Patterns of Force: System Strength, Terrorism and Civil War," Economics of Security Working Paper Series 28, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:diw:diweos:diweos28
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Michael Brzoska & Raphael Bossong & Eric van Um, 2011. "Security Economics in the European Context: Implications of the EUSECON Project," Economics of Security Working Paper Series 58, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    2. Kis-Katos, Krisztina & Liebert, Helge & Schulze, Günther G., 2014. "On the heterogeneity of terror," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 68(C), pages 116-136.

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    JEL classification:

    • O1 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development
    • I3 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty

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