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Willingness and Opportunity: Minority Discrimination, State Strength and Domestic Terrorism Sambuddha Ghatak University of Tennessee & Brandon C. Prins.

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Presentation on theme: "Willingness and Opportunity: Minority Discrimination, State Strength and Domestic Terrorism Sambuddha Ghatak University of Tennessee & Brandon C. Prins."— Presentation transcript:

1 Willingness and Opportunity: Minority Discrimination, State Strength and Domestic Terrorism Sambuddha Ghatak University of Tennessee & Brandon C. Prins University of Tennessee

2 Research Question A major driving factor of terrorism is the existence of concrete grievances among an identifiable subgroup of a larger population (Crenshaw, 1981). One of the most permissive causes of terrorism is a government's inability or unwillingness to prevent it (Crenshaw, 1981). How does state weakness influence domestic terrorism in the presence of minority discrimination ?

3 Literature Review Minority Discrimination: o Bradley, 2006; Buendia, 2005; Whittaker, 2001; Ergil, 2000: Case studies identify minority discrimination as a major driver of terrorism. o Piazza, 2012; Piazza, 2011; Lai, 2007: Large n-studies similarly found terrorism to be driven by minority discrimination. State Weakness: Piazza, 2008; Lai (2007): Transnational terrorism increases in weak states. Fearon and Laitin (2003); Englebert and Ron, (2004) on rebellion, insurgency and civil war. Bodea (2012) on civil war.

4 Domestic Terrorism Limited research on domestic terrorism although it is far more frequent than transnational terrorism.

5 Theory Any theoretical framework exploring terrorism needs to take two factors into account. The first factor is the existence of concrete grievances among an identifiable subgroup of a larger population (Crenshaw, 1981). The second is opportunity for social or political movement to develop in order to redress these grievances (Tilly, 1978, pp ).

6 Rank of Countries by Number of Domestic Terrorist Incidents, 2007

7 Theory Terrorism is a strategy of the weak in two senses; terrorist organizations are weak relative to the extensive demands they make, and they are weak relative to their targets - usually, states (Frieden et al., 2010). o Interests and methods of the terrorists may not be widely shared by the larger population they claim to fight for. o If the rebel groups can muster enough popular support for their cause, they might engage in armed conflict against the state.

8 Theory Terrorism is highly asymmetric warfare. States are nearly always stronger politically and militarily than the terrorist networks they face. It is their weakness that motivates terrorist groups to target unarmed civilians. They bypass the state’s military to avoid certain defeat, and inflict pain on unarmed civilians.

9 Theory The weakness of the terrorist groups influences: o their resource mobilization (criminal activities like drug trafficking, bank robbery and currency counterfeiting) o selection of weapons (Improvised Explosive Devises in most cases) o and their organizational structure (cell structure to evade detection and capture).

10 Theory and Hypothesis The extremist sections of national minority groups generally face the collective might of the national majority and a state. In the face of such powerful opposition, the minorities are more likely to choose terrorism as their strategy. o Hypothesis: The number of domestic terrorist incidents within a country will increase with the increase in state strength if minority group/groups are discriminated.

11 Research Design Global Terrorism Database (GTD) of 172 countries. Dependent Variable: country-year count of domestic terrorist incidents between (Enders et al., 2011) Independent Variables: 1.Economic Discrimination Index (MAR). 2.Percentage of Discriminated Population (Wimmer, 2009, Ethnic Power Relations dataset). 3.Relative Extractive Capacity, State Fragility Index, Government Effectiveness, Control on Corruption (Arbetman-Rabinowitz et al., 2012, Marshall & Cole, 2010; World Bank, 2013)

12 Research Design Control Variables: Regime types: Democracy, anocracy and Autocracy; GDP per capita; Civil War (1000 or more deaths), Regime Durability, Spatial Dispersion, US Intervention (Iraq and Afghanistan) Specification: GEE Models with Negative Binomial Estimator and AR(1) Error Structure

13 Table 1: Direct Effects Across 5 Different Measures of State Strength, Using MAR Repression as Measure of Grievance

14 Table 2: Direct Effects Across 5 Different Measures of State Strength, Using Discriminated Population as Measure of Grievance

15 Table 3: Effectsof State Strength on Domestic Terrorism Conditional on Repression, Using MAR as Measure of Repression

16 Table 4: Effect of State Strength on Domestic Terrorism Conditional on Repression, Using Discriminated Population as Measure of Repression

17 Figure 1: Marginal Effect of State Strength Across the 5 Models

18 Figure 2: Marginal Effect of Repression(MAR) Conditional on State Strength

19 Figure 3: Marginal Effect of Repression (Discriminated Population) Conditional on State Strength

20 Conclusion  In each model, the interaction term between state strength and minority discrimination is statistically significant in the hypothesized direction.  We find strong support that terrorism increases in strong state in the presence of minority discrimination.

21 Thank you. Questions and Comments


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