Characteristics of Terrorism
CER-ETH - Center of Economic Research at ETH Zurich Economics Working Paper No. 09/103
40 Pages Posted: 13 Feb 2009
Date Written: February, 13 2009
Individual terrorist are frequently behaving seemingly absurd, e.g. by carrying out suicide operations, while activities of the terrorist organisations as a whole often seem to be conducted in a very effective way. These facts caused many researchers to regard the leaders representing the organisations like rational entities, while the followers are supposed to be just obeying and, hence, to be irrational.
In this paper we offer a different approach which postulates rationality of all involved agents. We demonstrate how these agents' behaviour could be modeled, while taking into account options of the terrorist leaders to influence their followers. From our model approaches to counter terrorism on both the leadership as well as the follower level can be derived.
Keywords: cognitive dissonance, joint production, Lancastrian characteristics approach, public goods, rationality, suicide attacks, terrorism
JEL Classification: D74, D69
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation