Terrorist Groups as Business Firms: A New Typological Framework
University of Maryland Francis Carey School of Law
Yale University - School of Management; Yale University - Cowles Foundation
21 Terrorism and Political Violence 327
Existing typological frameworks currently fail to categorize terrorist groups by their operational characteristics. We propose a new framework which compares terrorist groups to business firms. In our framework, terrorist groups are mapped on two axes: centralization of resources and centralization of operations. Using this framework, we separate terrorist groups into four typologies echoing familiar business arrangements: Hierarchy, Venture Capital, and Brand. Responses to each typology are briefly sketched out. We conclude by analyzing the changes in Al Qaeda over the last two decades in the context of our framework, focusing on its increasing decentralization. We close by proposing appropriate policy responses to combat Al Qaeda in light of its current Brand typology.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 8
Date posted: January 25, 2007 ; Last revised: June 17, 2013