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Summary: Andrew Kydd and Barbara Walter, "The Strategies of Terrorism, "

  • Date Submitted: 10/26/2014 05:25 AM
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Summary:   Andrew Kydd and Barbara Walter, "The Strategies of Terrorism,"
There is a good summary in the conclusion of the article (last 3 pages) as well.
Terrorism in this article is defined as: as the use of violence against civilians by non-state actors to attain political goals
• The first statement made in this article is the fact that terrorism often works.
o There are quite some examples of countries listening to the demands of terrorist (such as the withdrawal of US Marines from Lebanon in 1983)
• To make effective counter terrorism strategies it is important to understand why terrorism works and how it works
o Terrorism works not simply because it in stills fear in target populations, but because is causes governments and individuals to respond in ways that aid the terrorist’s cause
Core argument in this article: “…Terrorist violence is a form of costly signalling. Terrorists are too weak to impose their will directly by force of arms. They are sometimes strong enough, however, to persuade audiences to do as they wish by altering the audience’s beliefs about such matters as the terrorist’s ability to impose costs and their degree of commitment to their cause.”   So terrorism alters the cost/benefit calculation of state’s and individuals. Only making threats isn’t enough for terrorist, that sometimes need to take actions to prove how far they are willing to go to obtain their results.
1. What types of goals do terrorists seek to achieve?
i. Regime change
1. The overthrow of a government and its replacement with one led by the terrorists
2. E.g. Marxist groups
ii. Territorial change
1. Taking territory away from a state either to establish a new state or join another state
2. E.g. Tamil Tigers in Sri Lanka
iii. Policy change
1. “Policy change is a broader category of lesser demands, such as al-Qaida's demand that the United States drop its support for Israel and corrupt Arab regimes such as Saudi Arabia”
iv. Social control
1. Social...


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