More Combatant Groups, More Terror? Empirical Tests of an Outbidding Logic
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Findley, Michael G., and Joseph K. Young. "More Combatant Groups, More Terror? Empirical Tests of an Outbidding Logic." Terrorism and Political Violence (2012).
We examine and test the logic that outbidding among insurgent groups results in more suicide terrorism specifically and more terrorism of any type, which has become a pop- ular argument in recent years. A global analysis of terrorism from 1970-2004 provides scant support for the notion that outbidding increases suicide terrorism. An exten- sion of the argument to all types of terrorist attacks provides even less support. The logic of outbidding has received considerable attention in academic and policy circles in recent years. Similar to the argument that democratic occupation increases suicide terror, our lack of empirical support suggests that considerable cross-national work is still needed to understand suicide terror adequately. We suggest some reasons why this may be the case, drawing particular attention to the problem of overgeneralizing from a limited set of cases.
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