Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Show Summary Details
More options …

Peace Economics, Peace Science and Public Policy

Editor-in-Chief: Caruso, Raul

Ed. by Bove, Vincenzo / Kibris, Arzu / Sekeris, Petros

4 Issues per year


CiteScore 2016: 0.39

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2016: 0.225
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2016: 0.322

Online
ISSN
1554-8597
See all formats and pricing
More options …
Volume 19, Issue 3

Issues

Volume 17 (2011)

Volume 4 (1996)

Volume 3 (1995)

Volume 2 (1994)

Volume 1 (1993)

Does Higher Education Decrease Support for Terrorism?

Jitka Malečková
  • CERGE-EI, a Joint Workplace of Charles University and the Economics Institute of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, Politickych veznu 7, 111 21 Prague, Czech Republic
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
/ Dragana Stanišić
  • Corresponding author
  • CERGE-EI, a Joint Workplace of Charles University and the Economics Institute of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, Politickych veznu 7, 111 21 Prague, Czech Republic
  • Email
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
Published Online: 2013-11-06 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/peps-2013-0027

Abstract

The paper examines the educational level of the part of the public in 16 Middle Eastern, Asian and African countries who justify suicide bombing and dislike regional/world powers, and its relationship with the occurrence of terrorism originating from the former countries and directed against the powers. We find that the share of highly educated people in this critical support group (regardless of gender and age) in a country is significantly correlated with the number of international terrorist acts carried out by individuals or groups from that country. The paper confirms that public opinion has an impact on terrorism and suggests that increasing education is not by itself a sufficient means of counter-terrorist policy.

Keywords: international terrorism; public opinion; education

References

  • Atran, S., (2003), Genesis of Suicide Terrorism, Science, vol. 299, no. 5612, pp. 1534–1539.Google Scholar

  • Aydemir, A., Borjas, G., (2010), Attenuation Bias in Measuring a Wage Impact on Immigration, NBER Working Paper Series, WP 16229.Google Scholar

  • Azam, J.P., (2012), Why Suicide – Terrorists Get Educated, and What to Do About it, Public Choice, vol. 153, no. 3–4, pp. 357–373.Web of ScienceGoogle Scholar

  • Azam, J-P., Thelen, V., (2008), The Roles of Foreign Aid and Education in the War on Terror, Public Choice, vol. 135, no. 3, pp. 375–397.Web of ScienceGoogle Scholar

  • Benmelech, E., Berrebi, C., (2007), Human Capital and the Productivity of Suicide Bombers, Journal of Economic Perspectives, vol. 21, no. 3, pp. 223–238.Google Scholar

  • Benmelech, E., Berrebi, C., Klor, E.F., (2012), Economic Conditions and the Quality of Suicide Terrorism, The Journal of Poltiics, vol. 74, no. 1, pp. 115–128.Google Scholar

  • Berrebi, C., (2007), Evidence about the Link Between Education, Poverty and Terrorism among Palestinians, Peace Economics, Peace Science and Public Policy, Berkeley Press, vol. 13, no. 1, p. 2.Google Scholar

  • Bloom, M., (2004), Palestinian Suicide Bombing: Public Support, Market Share, and Outbidding, Political Science Quarterly, vol. 119, no. 1, pp. 61–68.Google Scholar

  • Caruso, R., Gavrilova, E., (2012), Political Economy Studies on the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, Peace Economics, Peace Science and Public Policy, vol. 18, no. 2, Article 2.Google Scholar

  • Caruso, R., Schneider, F., (2013), Brutality of Jihadist Terrorism. A Contest Theory Perspective and Empirical Evidence in the Period 2002–2010, Journal of Policy Modeling. vol. 35, no. 5, pp. 685–696.Web of ScienceGoogle Scholar

  • Derin-Güre, P., (2009), Does Terrorism Have Economic Roots? Boston University – Department of Economics – Working Papers Series, Boston University – Department of Economics wp 2009-001, [http://www.bu.edu/econ/files/2011/01/2009_01_Derin-Gure.pdf].

  • Esteban, J., Ray, D., (2008), On the Salience of Ethnic Conflict, American Economic Review, vol. 98, no. 5, pp. 2185–2202.Web of ScienceGoogle Scholar

  • Fair, Ch., Shephered, B., (2006), Who Supports Terrorism? Evidence from Fourteen Muslim Countries, Studies in Conflict & Terrorism, vol. 29, no. 1, pp. 51–54.Google Scholar

  • Gambetta, D., Hertog, S., (2009), Why are There So Many Engineers Among Islamic Radicals?, European Journal of Sociology, vol. 50, no. 2, pp. 201–230. ISSN 0003-9756.Google Scholar

  • Haddad, S. Khashan, H., (2002). Islam and Terrorism: Lebanese Muslim Views on September 11, Journal of Conflict Resolution, vol. 46, no. 6, pp. 812–828.Google Scholar

  • Hillygus, S.D., (2005), The Missing Link: Exploring the Relationship Between Higher Education and Political Engagement, Political Behavior, vol. 27, no. 1, DOI 10.1007/s11109-005-3075-8CrossrefGoogle Scholar

  • Jacques, K., Taylor, P.J., (2013), Myths and Realities of Female-Perpetrated Terrorism, Law and Human Behavior. vol. 37, no. 1, pp. 35–44.Web of ScienceGoogle Scholar

  • Jaeger, D., Klor, E., Miaari, S., Paserman, D. (2011), The Struggle for Palestinian Hearts and Minds: Violence and Public Opinion in the Second Intifada, Journal of Public Economics, vol. 96, no. 1, pp. 354–368.Web of ScienceGoogle Scholar

  • Jo, J., (2011). Who Sympathizes with Osama bin Laden? Revisiting Hearts and Minds of Pakistani and Indonesian Muslim People, International Journal of Public Opinion Research, vol. 24, no. 4, pp. 495–507.Web of ScienceGoogle Scholar

  • Kam, C.D., Palmer, C.L., (2008), Reconsidering the Effects of Education on Political Participation, The Journal of Politics, vol. 70, no. 3, pp. 612–631.Web of ScienceGoogle Scholar

  • Krueger, A., Malečková, J. (2003), Education, Poverty and Terrorism: Is There a Causal Connection?, Journal of Economic Perspectives, vol. 17, no. 4, pp. 119–144.Google Scholar

  • Krueger, A., Malečková, J., (2009), Attitudes and Action: Public Opinion and the Occurrence of International Terrorism, Science, vol. 325, pp. 1534–1536.Web of ScienceGoogle Scholar

  • Malečková, J., Stanišić, (2011), Public Opinion and Terrorist Acts, European Journal of Political Economy, vol. 27, no. 1, pp. 107–121.Web of ScienceGoogle Scholar

  • Mickolus, E., Sandler, T., Murdock, J.M., Fleming, P., (2012), International Terrorism: Attributes of terrorist events 1988–91 and 1991 – 2010 (ITERATE 4,5), Vineyard Software, Dunn Loring, VA, p. 24.Google Scholar

  • Sageman, M., 2004. Understanding Terror Networks. University of Pennsylvania Press, Philadelphia.Google Scholar

  • Shafiq, M.N., Sinno, A.H., (2010), Education, Income and Support for Suicide Bombings: Evidence from Six Muslim Countries, Journal of Conflict Resolution, vol. 54, no. 1, pp. 146–178.Web of ScienceGoogle Scholar

  • Tessler, M., Robbins, M.D.H., (2007), What Leads Some Ordinary Arab Men and Women to Approve of Terrorist Acts Against the United States?, Journal of Conflict Resolution, vol. 51, no. 2, pp. 305–328.Google Scholar

About the article

Corresponding author: Dragana Stanišić, CERGE-EI, a Joint Workplace of Charles University and the Economics Institute of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, Politickych veznu 7, 111 21 Prague, Czech Republic, Tel.: +(420) 224 005 227, E-mail:


Published Online: 2013-11-06

Published in Print: 2013-12-01


Benmelech, Berrebi, and Klor (2012) use data on Palestinian suicide terrorists from 2000 to 2006 to show that human capital (education and experience) is an important factor for selecting terrorists for suicide tasks. Caruso and Schneider (2013) offer a different perspective on the tactic of Al Qaeda-inspired terrorist groups: using contest theory they show that terrorist groups compete with each other by increasing the number of attacks and their brutality.

For an interesting exception see Caruso and Gavrilova (2012) who argue that the level of education affects the sense of frustration and grievances among younger population. On the link between education and suicide terrorism see Azam (2012).

PEW http://www.pewglobal.org/category/datasets/ (Pew Global Attitudes Project: Spring 2007 Survey).

We excluded the Egypt – Egypt pair.

A specific case was the question regarding the European Union since it is not a country, though it can be considered a power. For the purpose of calculating the GDP, population and civil liberties, we calculated averages of countries that we assigned to the group EU (Germany, France, Belgium, UK, Spain, Italy, Luxemburg and Netherlands). We selected these countries as the oldest and leading members of the EU. This choice is in line with the collection of data on terrorist incidents against these countries in the period from 2004 to 2008.

For exact wording of the questions and details about the data check authors, 2011.

World Development Indicators http://data.worldbank.org/data-catalog/world-development-indicators.

In the NCTC Worldwide Incidents Tracking System (WITS) a terrorist incident is defined as an incident “in which subnational or clandestine groups or individuals deliberately or recklessly attacked civilians or noncombatants (including military personnel and assets outside war zones and war-like settings)” (The Worldwide Incidents Tracking System).

The fact that the values of the dependant variable range from 0 to 23 per pair raises problems of overdispersion and the test for overdispersion in our sample shows that it is significant V(y|x)=E(y|x)+a*{E(y|x)^2}.

The Poisson distribution assumes that the mean is equal to variance.

Our analysis of gender and age showed no significant effect. See footnote n. 16.

Figures A4A6 show the correlations between the number of terrorist attacks and the shares of the critical group by levels of education.

[exp 39.36*0.018)–1]*100.

For the educational attainment of terrorists see Benmelech and Berrebi (2007), Krueger and Malečková (2003).

We also estimate the model separately for males and females and in both cases find similar results. These estimations suffer from omitted variable problems. (The share of the highly educated females and the share of the highly educated males in the critical group are highly correlated variables. Including both of these variables in the model will cause a problem of multicolinearaity between the variables.) We therefore do not include these estimations in the paper, but the result suggests that there is no difference in respect to gender.

[(0.018*6.773)*100].

p=[1–(0.00563241)]*[(5.2567*(1–5.2567)/(12315/(16)]/[(1–0.9385)*(18.92)]. For the definition and the variables from the equation (5) see Aydemir and Borjas (2010, 10).

[(0.018*6.604)*100].

However, Esteban and Ray (2008) argue that economic inequality may lead to a better division of labor among the rich, funding terrorism, and the poor providing the pool of recruits. Similarly, when educational inequality is high, the educated people may provide the “ideological” output while the non-educated people supply the “manpower;” under these conditions, the risk of terrorist attacks is higher.

See (http://www.nctc.gov/).

Analysis of WITS Impact on Scholarly Work on Terrorism (Krueger, Laitin, Shapiro and Stanišić, 2011, unpublished manuscript).

It would be interesting to know what type of tertiary is relevant. Gambetta and Hertog (2009) show that individuals with an engineering education are overrepresented among violent Islamists. Unfortunately, the survey data we use do not provide information about the type of tertiary education of the respondents.

In a different context, Azam and Thelen (2008) argue that foreign aid reduces terrorist attacks by recipient countries, as does the recipient country’s level of education. Claiming that foreign aid helps the receiving government fight terrorism, they suggest that the correlation between the level of education of the individual terrorists and their activism is irrelevant from the donor’s point of view, as the local government will adjust its level of repression optimally as a function of the impact of education.


Citation Information: Peace Economics, Peace Science and Public Policy, Volume 19, Issue 3, Pages 343–358, ISSN (Online) 1554-8597, ISSN (Print) 1079-2457, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/peps-2013-0027.

Export Citation

©2013 by Walter de Gruyter Berlin Boston. Copyright Clearance Center

Citing Articles

Here you can find all Crossref-listed publications in which this article is cited. If you would like to receive automatic email messages as soon as this article is cited in other publications, simply activate the “Citation Alert” on the top of this page.

[1]
Thomas Bassetti, Raul Caruso, and Friedrich Schneider
Empirical Economics, 2017

Comments (0)

Please log in or register to comment.
Log in