More than smart bombs the ingroup value of suicide terrorism
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More than smart bombs: the ingroup value of suicide terrorism. Clark McCauley Solomon Asch Center for Study of Ethnopolitical Conflict [email protected] Data and slide from Scott Atran, U Michigan. Data and slide from Scott Atran, U Michigan. Understanding suicide terrorism.

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More than smart bombs: the ingroup value of suicide terrorism

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More than smart bombs the ingroup value of suicide terrorism

More than smart bombs: the ingroup value of suicide terrorism

Clark McCauley

Solomon Asch Center for Study of Ethnopolitical Conflict

[email protected]


More than smart bombs the ingroup value of suicide terrorism

Data and slide from Scott Atran, U Michigan


More than smart bombs the ingroup value of suicide terrorism

Data and slide from Scott Atran, U Michigan


Understanding suicide terrorism

Understanding suicide terrorism

  • Individual motives (“reasons”)

  • Group motives (“strategic value”)


Robert pape 2005 dying to win the strategic logic of suicide terrorism

Robert Pape, 2005, Dying to Win:the Strategic Logic of Suicide Terrorism

Terrorism as political coercion

“The main reason that suicide terrorism is growing is that terrorists have learned that it works” (p61).

Nb. Group level of analysis, strategic


Pape suicide terrorism works 13 completed campaigns

Pape: “Suicide terrorism works” 13 completed campaigns

1983 Hezbolloh U.S/France out Lebanon +

1983-85 Hezbollah Israel out Lebanon +

1985-86 Hezbollah Israel out Lebanon strip

1990-94 LTTE negotiations +

1995-2000 LTTE no change

1994-95 Hamas Israel partial out Gaza +

1994-95 Hamas Israel partial out WB +


13 completed campaigns cont

13 completed campaigns cont.

  • 1995 BKI (Sikh) no move to indep

  • 1996 Hamas [retaliation assass.] no change

  • 1997 Hamas [Jordan,U.S?]Yassin released+

  • 1996 PKK no move to autonomy

  • 1999 PKK no change Ocalan in jail

  • 2001 LTTE autonomy area +

    TOTAL 7/13 SUCCESSFUL [more or less]


Is it suicide terrorism or the larger campaign that brings success

Is it suicide terrorism or the larger campaign that brings success?

  • Suicide terrorism always part of larger terrorist campaign

  • Is suicide terrorism just a marker for terrorist campaigns with higher intensity and broader support base?


Mia bloom 2005 dying to kill the allure of suicide terrorism

Mia Bloom, 2005, Dying to kill: The allure of suicide terrorism

Beyond the coercive power of smart bombs

  • Outbidding

  • Mobilizing by sacrifice

  • Jujitsu politics


Outbidding suicide terrorism as ingroup competition

Outbidding: Suicide terrorism as ingroup competition

  • Competing terrorist groups can advance their popular support by using suicide terrorism, but only if there is popular support for suicide terrorism (not after Oslo)

  • Competing claims for particular suicide attacks

  • Nationalist Marxist PFLP refused suicide terrorism and was vanishing in Pal polls until moved to ST and “jihad” in 2001.


Social psychology s experimental model of outbidding

Social psychology’s experimental model of Outbidding

  • “Group extremity shift” (“risk shift” or “group polarization”)

  • Observed: average opinion more extreme after group discussion of likeminded

  • Social comparison theory: more extreme in group-favored direction seen as better


Mobilizing by sacrifice

Mobilizing by sacrifice

  • Suicide terrorism is an example of the ingroup value of sacrifice and martyrdom.

  • Ten Men Dead resuscitated IRA in 1981

  • Abraham Lincoln: “That from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion...” (modeling? guilt?)

  • NB--killing others not required


Jujitsu politics

Jujitsu Politics

  • Shocking attack to draw state response that mobilizes those who sympathize with terrorist goals

  • Terrorists profit by ingroup dynamics of outgroup threat, e.g U.S. after 9/11

  • Personal revenge and ingroup identification

  • State erects wall against terrorist sympathizers, especially by ethnicity


Conclusion

Conclusion

The value of suicide terrorism to the terrorists goes beyond cheap damage to the state and the coercion value of this damage.

  • Outbidding (ingroup competition)

  • Mobilizing by sacrifice (ingroup mobilization)

  • Jujitsu politics (ingroup mobilization)

  • Ingroup value of suicide terrorism does not depend on success rate

    McCauley, C. (2005). The politics of terrorism (Review of Robert Pape’s Dying to Win and Maya Bloom’s Dying to Kill). Middle East Journal, 59(4), Autumn, pp. 663-666.


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