Terrorist group survival: ideology, tactics, and base of operations

Abstract

The paper applies survival analysis to identify the determinants of terrorist group duration. Our sample includes 367 terrorist organizations that operated during 1970–2007. Consistent with the theory, determinants of these groups’ survival include their tactics, sizes, ideological basis, regions of operation, and base-country characteristics. Cross-sectional and panel estimates are reported. Terrorist organizations fare better if they are larger in size, diversify their attack modes, are animated by religiosity rather than secular political goals, and base their operations in the Middle East or Africa. Groups’ longevity is bolstered by democratic institutions and an intermediate level of ethnic fractionalization at home.

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Correspondence to Todd Sandler.

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Blomberg, S.B., Gaibulloev, K. & Sandler, T. Terrorist group survival: ideology, tactics, and base of operations. Public Choice 149, 441 (2011). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11127-011-9837-4

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Keywords

  • Terrorist group survival
  • Terrorist tactics
  • Terrorist groups’ ideology
  • Panel estimates
  • Cross-sectional estimates

JEL Classification

  • D74
  • C41
  • H56