Terrorism and Civil War: A Spatial and Temporal Approach to a Conceptual Problem
41 Pages Posted: 19 Jul 2010 Last revised: 4 Nov 2014
Date Written: 2010
What is the relationship between civil war and terrorism? Recent attempts to unpack the similarities between these types of political violence have either focused on creating actor-based categories (terrorists vs. insurgents) and elucidating the different reasons for being one or the other or comparing and contrasting each to discern whether they have similar etiologies. In contrast to previous approaches, we use geo-referenced terror event data from the Global Terrorism Database (GTD) to show where and when terror happens and whether it occurs inside or outside of civil war zones. We investigate in detail six separate violent campaigns to illustrate some of the patterns in terrorism and civil war events. While the study of terrorism and civil war mostly occurs in separate scholarly communities, we argue for more work that incorporates insights from each research program, and we offer an exciting possibility for future research by merging geo-referenced terror and civil war data.
Keywords: terrorism, civil war, geocoding
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