Terrorist Networks’ Productivity and Durability: A Comparative Multi-level Analysis

Arie Perliger


Terrorist networks, similar to the more traditional terrorist organizations, employ violence in order to promote political and social changes. By utilizing a unique dataset of 18 terrorist networks the current study contributes to the growing body of literature on terrorist networks by examining the factors that determine network productivity and durability. The findings illustrate how effective networks generally operate within supportive and homogeneous communities, tolerant of the violent struggle. The findings also suggest that while funding and operational knowledge/training are not strong predictors of operational success, they seem to be potential preconditions for the formation of the networks, and for a network to shift from the ideological radicalization stage into the operational/behavioral stage. Finally, when looking at the structural characteristics that differentiate successful from less successful networks, it seems that the most important elements are the ability of the successful networks to effectively balance between cohesiveness and flexibility while preserving their dynamic nature. 

Full Text: PDF HTML

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.


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

ISSN  2334-3745 (Online)

Disclaimer, Terms and Conditions