Looking Back on Anger: Explaining the Social Origins of Left-Wing and Nationalist - Separatist Terrorism in Western Europe, 1970-2007

39 Pages Posted: 26 Apr 2012

See all articles by Sarah Brockhoff

Sarah Brockhoff

University of Freiburg - College of Economics and Behavioral Sciences

Tim Krieger

University of Freiburg - Department of Economics

Daniel Meierrieks

WZB Berlin Social Science Center

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: April 25, 2012

Abstract

A unique dataset is used to separately analyze the social origins of left-wing and nationalist-separatist terrorism in 17 Western European countries between 1970 and 2007. We argue that the differences in the historic roots, ultimate goals as well as their negotiability, levels of domestic and international support, and politico-military strategies of these types of ideologically or ethnically motivated terrorism make it plausible that they respond differently to specific social conditions and changes. We show that there are indeed factors that matter either to left-wing (e.g., the Cold War, leftist party strength) or nationalist-separatist terrorism (e.g., ethnic polarization, non-violent protest). However, both types of terrorism are robustly associated with larger populations and higher unemployment rates. This suggests that both may be ameliorated through social progress, even though ethnic terrorism seems to respond more strongly to socio-economic and political incentives (e.g., economic progress, political participation). Finally, we show that a ‘pooling’ of terrorism data - which disregards motivational bonds, but is nevertheless common in empirical analyses - may mask the role of otherwise relevant terrorism correlates in distinct types of terrorism.

Keywords: terrorism, ideology, political motivations, left-wing terrorism, ethnic terrorism, generalized estimation equation, Western Europe

JEL Classification: D740, O520

Suggested Citation

Brockhoff, Sarah and Krieger, Tim and Meierrieks, Daniel, Looking Back on Anger: Explaining the Social Origins of Left-Wing and Nationalist - Separatist Terrorism in Western Europe, 1970-2007 (April 25, 2012). CESifo Working Paper Series No. 3789, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2045987

Sarah Brockhoff

University of Freiburg - College of Economics and Behavioral Sciences ( email )

Freiburg, D-79085
Germany

Tim Krieger (Contact Author)

University of Freiburg - Department of Economics ( email )

University of Freiburg
Wilhelmstr. 1b
Freiburg, D-79085
Germany

HOME PAGE: http://www.wguth.uni-freiburg.de

Daniel Meierrieks

WZB Berlin Social Science Center ( email )

Reichpietschufer
50
Berlin, D-10785
Germany

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