Redlin, Margarete Gries, Thomas Meierrieks, Daniel
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Beiträge zur Jahrestagung des Vereins für Socialpolitik 2014: Evidenzbasierte Wirtschaftspolitik - Session: Causes of Islamistic and Anti-American Terrorism G08-V1
Since the 9/11 attacks more attention has been given to the question why the United States is a major target for transnational terrorism. What conditions motivate these terrorist activities? Are there specific characteristics in the terrorists home countries that provide a breeding ground for anti-US terrorism? In particular, we ask whether oppressive and bad governments in these countries and/or close connections with the US encourage attacks against the US. Oppressive and bad government behavior, such as human rights violations or poor governance, may provoke resistance against the authorities, including violent attacks. Attacking the United States instead of one s own government may be a promising option, especially if the government s capacity seems dependent on US support. In a count data approach we use panel data for 149 countries from 1981 to 2005. We measure governmental oppressiveness using the physical integrity rights index, and measure a government s closeness to the US with a range of measures. Controlling for a variety of variables, our findings indicate that both oppressiveness and US closeness are important determinants of anti-US terrorism. Furthermore, both effects do not seem completely independent. Sorting into groups, US closeness seems to relate to more attacks the greater the oppressiveness of one s home government s.