CALLE, Luis de la and SÁNCHEZ-CUENCA, Ignacio (2006): «The Production of Terrorist Violence: Analyzing Target Selection within the IRA and ETA», Working Paper: Instituto Juan March, nº 230.
One of the main shortcomings of studies of civil wars is the impossibility of analysing in a quantitative way the dynamics and logic of violence. Most quantitative comparative work on civil wars takes countries as the unit of observation. We simply lack detailed information about who was killed and why. Unlike civil war violence, terrorist violence can be studied more systematically, given its lower magnitude and its recurrence in affluent countries. More concretely, we can collect all fatalities in a terrorist conflict with very precise information at the individual level about the circumstances of the killing, the status of the victim and the strategic reasons for why the victim was targeted. In this paper, we analyze the production of violence by Republican terrorist organizations in Northern Ireland and by nationalist ones in the Basque Country. We have reconstructed the history of 2,793 fatalities in total. We analyze the data according to a simple theoretical framework in which violence is the outcome of terrorist organizations pursuing certain goals under certain constraints. Terrorists are constrained materially by the resources they have, and ideologically by the preferences of their supporters. We test in various ways how variations in resources and in supporters’ preferences produce variations in the patterns of target selection. Our results confirm our theoretical expectations.
Luis de la Calle. Página del autor en Dialnet.
Ignacio Sánchez-Cuenca. Página del autor en Dialnet.
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