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Nations at Risk-- Indicators of Fragility in States Susceptible to Terrorist Attacks

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Technical Report

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Naval Postgraduate School Monterey United States

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Using cross-national data from 20062016 and 174 states, this thesis details an investigation of the relationship between state fragility and the incidence of terrorism. The approach is threefold. The first step adapts the most common methodology from the literature, the negative binomial regression model, to reproduce existing outcomes by taking advantage of todays availability of broader data. However, as terrorism is endogenous to state fragility, I use the Arellano-BondEstimator in the second step to overcome the reverse causality bias in this fragility-terrorism nexus. The last step, a comparison of the outcomes of my two methodologies, finds the problems arising from this reverse causality bias are too substantial to use negative binomial regression as an appropriate model to derive strategies for policy makers. Moreover, the outcomes show that economic inequality and factionalization along ethnic and religious lines are root causes for terrorism, and that terrorism itself leads to more terrorism in the future. Additionally, my research finds that the influx of refugees has no impact on the occurrence of terrorism in the short term. However, subject to a societys capacity to assimilate groups, migration flows can have implications for the occurrence of terrorism over time.

Subject Categories:

  • Government and Political Science
  • Unconventional Warfare
  • Statistics and Probability

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