Forecasting the “Arab Spring” of 2011: Terrorist Incident Data from 2000-2010 Offered No Early Warning

Richard J. Chasdi


One of the single most predominant questions associated with the so-called “Arab Spring” is whether or not any social research indicators associated with terrorism data are available with predictive value for such profound structural political changes. The underlying aim of this “Research Note” is to take a first pass at the terrorism data and to compare certain terrorism data trends for four countries that experienced successful regime change in 2011, namely Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, and Yemen, to terrorism trends in nine countries where political strains and tensions did not result in full blown regime change. In this essay, those countries include Bahrain, Syria, Jordan, Morocco, Algeria, Kuwait, UAE, Lebanon, and Saudi Arabia. From the start, it should be clear that even though there was non-violent protest in many of these countries, this analysis places singular attention on what both Gurr and Ross and Miller call “oppositional” or “insurgent” terrorism where terrorist assaults are directed at state governments.

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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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