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Characteristics of Terrorism

Karen Pittel and Dirk Rübbelke ()

No 09/103, CER-ETH Economics working paper series from CER-ETH - Center of Economic Research (CER-ETH) at ETH Zurich

Abstract: Individual terrorist are frequently behaving seemingly absurd, e.g. by carrying out suicide operations, while activities of the terrorist organisations as a whole often seem to be conducted in a very effective way. These facts caused many researchers to regard the leaders representing the organisations like rational entities, while the followers are supposed to be just obeying and, hence, to be irrational. In this paper we offer a different approach which postulates rationality of all involved agents. We demonstrate how these agents’ behaviour could be modelled, while taking into account options of the terrorist leaders to influence their followers. From our model approaches to counter terrorism on both the leadership as well as the follower level can be derived.

Keywords: cognitive dissonance; joint production; Lancastrian characteristics approach; public goods; rationality; suicide attacks; terrorism (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D74 D69 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 40 pages
Date: 2009-02
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Related works:
Chapter: Characteristics of Terrorism (2011) Downloads
Chapter: Characteristics of terrorism
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