CRF Blog

Does terrorism work as a political strategy?

by Bill Hayes

In Does terrorism work as a political strategy? for the Los Angeles Times, Max Abrahms argues that the evidence says no.

Statistically, my research establishes that attacks on civilians actually lower the likelihood of government concessions. This is true even after we account for all sorts of other factors that could possibly explain the association between terrorism and political failure, like the capability of the perpetrators and the nature of their demands. Rather than appeasing the perpetrators, governments almost always go on the offensive when their civilians are struck.

Indeed, it’s the politicians least sympathetic to terrorists who tend to benefit most from their violence. [more]