Foreign Terror on Americans

Journal of Peace Research, Vol. 48, No. 1, pp. 3-17, 2011

40 Pages Posted: 23 May 2007 Last revised: 15 May 2011

See all articles by Eric Neumayer

Eric Neumayer

London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE)

Thomas Pluemper

Vienna University of Economics and Business - Department of Socioeconomics; University of Essex - Department of Government

Date Written: October 1, 2008

Abstract

Americans are a major target of international terrorism. Yet, terrorists from some countries are much more likely to attack American citizens than terrorists from other countries. Similarly, anti-American terrorism from a specific foreign country is much more prevalent during certain periods than others. This article develops a rational theory of international terror¿ism, which argues that attacking foreign nationals is of strategic value to terrorists even if they ultimately aim at gaining political influence in their home country. Attacking foreigners is the more attractive to do¿mestic terrorists the more the terrorists' home government depends on military support from the foreign country. Applied to the US case, our theory predicts that more anti-American terrorism emanates from countries, which receive more US mili¿tary aid and arms transfers and in which more American military personnel are stationed, all relative to the country's own military capacity. Estimations from a directed country dyad sample over the period 1978 to 2005 support the predictions of our the¿ory for both terrorist incidents involving Americans and terrorist killings of Americans as dependent variables. These results are robust to a wide range of changes to the empirical research design.

Suggested Citation

Neumayer, Eric and Plümper, Thomas, Foreign Terror on Americans (October 1, 2008). Journal of Peace Research, Vol. 48, No. 1, pp. 3-17, 2011. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=986191

Eric Neumayer (Contact Author)

London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) ( email )

Houghton Street
London, WC2A 2AE
United Kingdom
+44 207 955 7598 (Phone)
+44 207 955 7412 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://personal.lse.ac.uk/neumayer

Thomas Plümper

Vienna University of Economics and Business - Department of Socioeconomics ( email )

Vienna
Austria

University of Essex - Department of Government ( email )

Wivenhoe Park
Colchester, Essex CO4 3SQ
United Kingdom

HOME PAGE: http://www.polsci.org/pluemper

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