Why Terrorists Overestimate the Odds of Victory 

Max Abrahms, Karolina Lula

Abstract


Terrorism is puzzling behavior for political scientists. On one hand, terrorist attacks generally hail from the politically aggrieved. On the other hand, a growing body of scholarship finds the tactic politically counterproductive. Unlike guerrilla attacks on military targets, terrorist attacks on civilian targets lower the odds of governments making  concessions. This article proposes and tests a psychological theory to account for why militant groups engage in terrorism, given the political costs of attacking civilians.



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ENHANCING SECURITY THROUGH COLLABORATIVE RESEARCH

Perspectives on Terrorism is  a journal of the Terrorism Research Initiative and the Center for Terrorism and Security Studies

ISSN  2334-3745 (Online)

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