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Understanding the Development of Fundamentalism

Author

Listed:
  • Ira N. Gang

    () (Rutgers University)

  • Gil S. Epstein

    () (Bar Ilan University)

Abstract

Fundamentalist organizations and the terrorists they spawn do not arise of a vacuum. Combating terrorism requires understanding the principles of groups’ formation, development and growth. We use economic theory to explain the creation and development of fundamentalist groups. In this paper we develop a theory of fundamentalism and terrorism under which leaders compete to enhance the level of observance of their followers. Our model explains the existence of competing fundamentalist groups and the increase in their intensity over time. Competition among fundamentalists makes them more extreme and may lead to terrorist activity.

Suggested Citation

  • Ira N. Gang & Gil S. Epstein, 2002. "Understanding the Development of Fundamentalism," Departmental Working Papers 200222, Rutgers University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:rut:rutres:200222
    as

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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Epstein, Gil S & Gang, Ira, 2002. "Government and Cities: Contests and the Decentralization of Decision Making," CEPR Discussion Papers 3585, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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    3. Sandler, Todd & Enders, Walter, 2004. "An economic perspective on transnational terrorism," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 20(2), pages 301-316, June.
    4. Eli Berman, 2000. "Sect, Subsidy, and Sacrifice: An Economist's View of Ultra-Orthodox Jews," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 115(3), pages 905-953.
    5. Daniel G. Arce M. & Todd Sandler, 2003. "An Evolutionary Game Approach to Fundamentalism and Conflict," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 159(1), pages 132-132, March.
    6. Jack Hirshleifer, 1989. "Conflict and rent-seeking success functions: Ratio vs. difference models of relative success," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 63(2), pages 101-112, November.
    7. Timur Kuran, 1989. "Sparks and prairie fires: A theory of unanticipated political revolution," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 61(1), pages 41-74, April.
    8. Lapan, Harvey E. & Sandler, Todd, 1993. "Terrorism and signalling," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 9(3), pages 383-397, August.
    9. Laurence R. Iannaccone, 1997. "Toward an Economic Theory of "Fundamentalism"," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 153(1), pages 100-100, March.
    10. Iannaccone, Laurence R, 1992. "Sacrifice and Stigma: Reducing Free-Riding in Cults, Communes, and Other Collectives," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(2), pages 271-291, April.
    11. Dwight Lee & Todd Sandler, 1989. "On the optimal retaliation against terrorists: The paid-rider option," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 61(2), pages 141-152, May.
    12. Nitzan, Shmuel, 1994. "Modelling rent-seeking contests," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 41-60, May.
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    Cited by:

    1. Correani, Luca & Di Dio, Fabio & Garofalo, Giuseppe, 2009. "The evolutionary dynamics of tolerance," MPRA Paper 18989, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Cerqueti, Roy & Correani, Luca & Garofalo, Giuseppe, 2013. "Economic interactions and social tolerance: A dynamic perspective," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 120(3), pages 458-463.
    3. Robbert Maseland & André Hoorn, 2011. "Why Muslims like democracy yet have so little of it," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 147(3), pages 481-496, June.
    4. Arce, Daniel G. & Sandler, Todd, 2009. "Fitting in: Group effects and the evolution of fundamentalism," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 31(5), pages 739-757, September.
    5. Thierry Deffarges, 2003. "Sur la nature et les causes du terrorisme. Une revue de la littérature économique," Revue Tiers Monde, Programme National Persée, vol. 44(174), pages 369-392.
    6. Friedman, Daniel. & Fan, Jijian. & Jonathan Gair & Sriya Iyer & Bartosz Redlicki & Chander Velu, 2016. "How Fundamentalism Takes Root: A Simulation Study," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 1681, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
    7. repec:ejw:journl:v:12:y:2015:i:2:p:242-259 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    fundamentalism; religion; rent seeking; terrorism;

    JEL classification:

    • D71 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Social Choice; Clubs; Committees; Associations
    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • Z12 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Religion

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