Terrorism, Bargaining, and Credible Commitments

40 Pages Posted: 2 Dec 2009 Last revised: 4 Nov 2014

See all articles by Joseph K. Young

Joseph K. Young

American University; American University - School of International Service

Michael Findley

Brigham Young University - Department of Political Science

Date Written: December 1, 2009

Abstract

What explains the variation in terrorism within and across political regimes? We contend that terrorism is most likely to occur in contexts in which governments cannot credibly restrain themselves from abusing their power in the future. We consider a specific institutional arrangement, whether a state has an independent judiciary, and hypothesize that independent judiciaries make government commitments more credible, thereby providing less incentive for the use of terrorism. Using a recently released database that includes transnational and domestic terrorist events from 1970-1997, we estimate a set of statistical analyses appropriate for the challenges of terrorism data and then examine the robustness of the results. The results provide support for the credible commitment logic and offer insights into the different ways that political institutions increase or decrease terrorism.

Keywords: terrorism, domestic politics

JEL Classification: D74, H56

Suggested Citation

Young, Joseph K. and Findley, Michael, Terrorism, Bargaining, and Credible Commitments (December 1, 2009). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1516581 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1516581

Joseph K. Young

American University ( email )

School of Public Affairs
4400 Massachussetts Ave
Washington, DC 20016
United States

American University - School of International Service ( email )

4400 Massachusetts Ave, NW
Washington, DC 20016
United States

Michael Findley (Contact Author)

Brigham Young University - Department of Political Science ( email )

745 SWKT
Provo, UT 84602
United States
801.422.5317 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://politicalscience.byu.edu/faculty/mfindley/

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