Precursors of Demise? Structural Changes in Terrorist Group Alliances
46 Pages Posted: 7 May 2019
Date Written: April 8, 2019
This study explores structural aspects of terrorist group alliances and how they signal the impending demise of terrorist groups. Employing network analysis, we examine the relation between terrorist group longevity and the structure of terrorist group alliances. We use dyadic data of joint attacks conducted by terrorist groups between 2001 and 2016 to analyze how the structural properties of terrorist networks increase the probability of a group dismantling. Also, we observe structural abnormalities that may signal the impending demise of terrorist groups. The results of our empirical analysis show that broker groups are more likely to be dissolved, and that the frequency of joint attacks by allied groups influences the probability of a group disbanding. Furthermore, we demonstrate an increase in allies’ attacks as the end of the life cycle of a given terrorist group approaches. Moreover, our qualitative analysis reveals that years before terrorist groups dissolve, sudden peaks in structural attributes become evident.
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation