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The Nature of the Beast: Organizational Structures and the Lethality of Terrorist Attacks

Victor Asal and R. Karl Rethemeyer
The Journal of Politics
Vol. 70, No. 2 (Apr., 2008), pp. 437-449
DOI: 10.1017/s0022381608080419
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1017/s0022381608080419
Page Count: 13
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The Nature of the Beast: Organizational Structures and the Lethality of Terrorist Attacks
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Abstract

Why are some terrorist organizations so much more deadly then others? This article examines organizational characteristics such as ideology, size, age, state sponsorship, alliance connections, and control of territory while controlling for factors that may also influence lethality, including the political system and relative wealth of the country in which the organization is based. Using data from the Memorial Institute for the Prevention of Terrorism's Terrorism Knowledge Base (TKB), we use a negative binomial model of organizational lethality, finding that organizational size, ideology, territorial control, and connectedness are important predictors of lethality while state sponsorship, organizational age, and host country characteristics are not.

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