This paper proposes a simple framework to better understand an opposition group’s choice between peace, terrorism, and open civil conflict against the government. Our model implies that terrorism emerges if constraints on the ruling executive group are intermediate and rents are sizeable, whereas conflict looms under poor executive constraints. Analyzing annual data for up to 158 countries in a panel setting provides evidence consistent with these hypotheses. The results emerge both when considering the incidence and onset of terrorism and conflict. The corresponding magnitudes are economically sizeable. Overall, these findings can help us understand and anticipate the choices of opposition groups.
conflict executive constraints foreign aid natural resource rents oil rents political institutions rents terrorism