- INTERNATIONAL INTERACTIONS Journal
- October 2014
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- We have less substantive knowledge about terrorism than about civil war, interstate war, genocide, or ethnic violence. I argue that this is due to the ambiguity of the concept of "terrorism." This ambiguity hinders empirical research, making the selection of cases for empirical research a contentious issue. Today, most scholars avoid the issue by relying on the existing datasets, without questioning the coding rules. But a close look at these rules reveals that they do not escape from the intrinsic ambiguity of the concept. I argue for a better integration between thick description and statistical analysis of terrorism as a way of overcoming the disagreements on the nature of terrorist violence.
- civil war; conflict; terrorism; civil-war; domestic terrorism; suicide terrorism; counterterrorism; violence; democracy; poverty; side