Characteristics of Terrorism

CER-ETH - Center of Economic Research at ETH Zurich Economics Working Paper No. 09/103

40 Pages Posted: 13 Feb 2009

See all articles by Karen Pittel

Karen Pittel

ETH Zürich - Department of Management, Technology, and Economics (D-MTEC)

Dirk T. G. Rübbelke

Technische Universität Bergakademie Freiberg

Date Written: February, 13 2009

Abstract

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

Pittel, Karen and Rübbelke, Dirk T. G., Characteristics of Terrorism (February, 13 2009). CER-ETH - Center of Economic Research at ETH Zurich Economics Working Paper No. 09/103. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1342758 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1342758

Karen Pittel

ETH Zürich - Department of Management, Technology, and Economics (D-MTEC) ( email )

ETH-Zentrum
ZUE F18
Zurich, CH-8092

Dirk T. G. Rübbelke (Contact Author)

Technische Universität Bergakademie Freiberg ( email )

Freiberg, 09599
Germany

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