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Public Opinion and Terrorist Acts

  • Jitka Maleckova
  • Dragana Stanisic

The paper explores the dimensions of public opinion relevant for supporting terrorism and their relationship with terrorist attacks. We link the 2007 PEW survey data on justification of suicide terrorism and opinions in 16 countries of the Middle East, Africa and Asia on nine regional powers to the NCTC data on international terrorist incidents between 2004 and 2008. We find that justification of suicide terrorism and unfavorable opinion on regional powers are correlated with the occurrence of terrorism and the effect of each of these dimensions of public opinion varies with the level of the other. In addition, we find a robust positive relationship between the share of people in a country who at the same time justify suicide bombings and have an unfavorable opinion of a regional power and the occurrence of terrorism originating from that country.

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File URL: http://www.diw.de/documents/publikationen/73/diw_01.c.356875.de/diw_econsec0032.pdf
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Paper provided by DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research in its series Economics of Security Working Paper Series with number 32.

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Length: 30 p.
Date of creation: 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:diw:diweos:diweos32
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  1. Hillman, Arye L., 2010. "Expressive behavior in economics and politics," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 26(4), pages 403-418, December.
  2. repec:pri:cepsud:179krueger is not listed on IDEAS
  3. Alan B. Krueger, 2007. "Introduction to What Makes a Terrorist: Economics and the Roots of Terrorism," Introductory Chapters, in: What Makes a Terrorist: Economics and the Roots of Terrorism Princeton University Press.
  4. Mark Tessler & Michael D. H. Robbins, 2007. "What Leads Some Ordinary Arab Men and Women to Approve of Terrorist Acts Against the United States?," Journal of Conflict Resolution, Peace Science Society (International), vol. 51(2), pages 305-328, April.
  5. Bernholz, Peter, 2004. "Supreme values as the basis for terror," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 20(2), pages 317-333, June.
  6. Alan B. Krueger, 2009. "Attitudes and Action: Public Opinion and the Occurrence of International Terrorism," Working Papers 1100, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Center for Economic Policy Studies..
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