Games Rivals Play: Terrorism in International Rivalries

35 Pages Posted: 14 Sep 2010

See all articles by Michael Findley

Michael Findley

Brigham Young University - Department of Political Science

James Piazza

Pennsylvania State University - Department of Political Science

Joseph K. Young

American University; American University - School of International Service

Date Written: June 26, 2010

Abstract

The empirical terrorism literature has largely overlooked interstate relations when evaluating predictors of international terrorist attacks, opting to focus on state, group, or individual-level factors to explain patterns of terrorism using analytical methods that are limited to either the origin or target of the attack. In this piece we argue that this is both incongruous with the larger conflict literature and limiting in terms of theoretical impact. Terrorism is more accurately considered a component of conflictual relations between two states generally hostile towards each other, which necessitates an examination of both states. We demonstrate, by conducting a series of negative binomial regression estimates using politically-relevant directed dyads, that interstate rivalries are highly robust, positive predictors of international terrorism. We use two different rivalry measures – Klein, Goertz and Diehl (2006) and Rasler and Thompson (2006) – and find that interstate rivalries, regardless of operationalization, explain a greater degree of variation in patterns of terrorism than do established significant predictors such as regime type, regime capacity to project force, or population.

Suggested Citation

Findley, Michael and Piazza, James and Young, Joseph K., Games Rivals Play: Terrorism in International Rivalries (June 26, 2010). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1676555 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1676555

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/

James Piazza

Pennsylvania State University - Department of Political Science ( email )

133 Willard Building
University Park, PA 16802-2800
United States

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

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