When Does Terrorism Occur: Game-Theoretic Analysis and Offense-Defense Balance

25 Pages Posted: 15 Dec 2012 Last revised: 20 Aug 2020

See all articles by Jin Yeub Kim

Jin Yeub Kim

Yonsei University - School of Economics

Date Written: August 20, 2020

Abstract

Offense-defense theory argues that wars are more likely in offense-dominant periods. I study how this claim can be challenged when it comes to making predictions about terrorism. To do so, I consider a model of continuous-time conflict between a status quo state and a terrorist, who develops offensive military technology and has private information on its aggressiveness. I characterize two measures of offense-defense balance, and show that a greater offense advantage in the balance is not associated with a higher risk of terrorism. This paper supports the critics of offense-defense theory, and provides insights into understanding when terrorism occurs.

Keywords: conflict, terrorism, offense-defense balance, military technology.

JEL Classification: C72, D74, F51

Suggested Citation

Kim, Jin Yeub, When Does Terrorism Occur: Game-Theoretic Analysis and Offense-Defense Balance (August 20, 2020). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2189345 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2189345

Jin Yeub Kim (Contact Author)

Yonsei University - School of Economics ( email )

Seoul
Korea, Republic of (South Korea)

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