Terrorism and Civil War: A Spatial and Temporal Approach to a Conceptual Problem

41 Pages Posted: 19 Jul 2010 Last revised: 4 Nov 2014

See all articles by Michael Findley

Michael Findley

Brigham Young University - Department of Political Science

Joseph K. Young

American University; American University - School of International Service

Date Written: 2010

Abstract

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

Suggested Citation

Findley, Michael and Young, Joseph K., Terrorism and Civil War: A Spatial and Temporal Approach to a Conceptual Problem (2010). APSA 2010 Annual Meeting Paper, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1644398

Michael Findley

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/

Joseph K. Young (Contact Author)

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

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