Characteristics of Terrorism

Edward Elgar, HANDBOOK ON THE ECONOMICS CONFLICT, 2011

Posted: 19 Sep 2011 Last revised: 20 Oct 2011

See all articles by Karen Pittel

Karen Pittel

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute) - Ifo Institute

Dirk T. G. Rübbelke

Technische Universität Bergakademie Freiberg

Date Written: April 1, 2011

Abstract

Individual terrorist are frequently behaving seemingly absurd, e.g. by carrying out suicide operations, while activities of the terrorist organizations as a whole often seem to be conducted in a very effective way. These facts caused many researchers to regard the leaders representing the organizations 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' behavior 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 (April 1, 2011). Edward Elgar, HANDBOOK ON THE ECONOMICS CONFLICT, 2011. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1930151

Karen Pittel

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute) - Ifo Institute ( email )

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, 01069
Germany

Dirk T. G. Rübbelke (Contact Author)

Technische Universität Bergakademie Freiberg ( email )

Freiberg, 09599
Germany

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