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What Directs a Terrorist?

Karen Pittel and Dirk Rübbelke ()

Defence and Peace Economics, 2006, vol. 17, issue 4, 311-328

Abstract: Terrorist models often focus on one kind of agent as well as one motive to pursue terrorism. Our model diverges from such standard approaches by taking account of the reasoning of the terrorist-organization leader as well as the reasoning of the individual terrorist. This allows us to observe the influence of the leader on the individual terrorist. Furthermore, we distinguish different motives that influence the individual agent's activities. More precisely, we consider terrorist support as an impure public good generating different characteristics. Moreover, we allow the leader to influence the individual terrorist's activities via different technologies; and finally, we take account of the fact that individual terrorists may develop a strong feeling of belongingness to the organization. In our framework, it is possible to explain why rational terrorists support terrorism and even commit suicide attacks. In line with empirical findings, income levels play no decisive factor in terrorists' readiness to commit such attacks.

Keywords: Impure public goods; Terrorism (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2006
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DOI: 10.1080/10242690600554914

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