17 February 2022
This article explores the intellectual puzzle of whether the domestic political instability associated with the Arab Spring is responsible for a surge in global terrorism that peaked in 2014. A series of negative binomial regressions demonstrate strong support for an “escalation effect”: more severe forms of domestic political instability, most notably government purges and riots, breed greater levels of terrorism, although the most severe form of domestic political instability—revolution—does not. We also find that specific types of domestic political instability affect terrorism levels differently depending on geographical region and regime type (i.e., democracy versus dictatorship).
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