The resiliency of terrorist havens a social mobilization theory approach
Johnston, Robert W.
Lawson, Letitia L.
Russell, James A.
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Terrorist havens are an imortant policy problem today. The policy and academic literature has generally concluded that failed states are more likely to be terrorist havens, but some have begun to question this conventional wisdom. While the link between state failure and terrorist havens is fairly clear, it does not tell the entire story. This thesis borrows from an aspect of social mobilization theory to try to explain why some havens are more resilient to outside pressure than others. It argues that a shared collective identity between the group providing haven and the havened terrorist group makes the havening group less likely to buckle under outside pressure. To test this theory, the thesis compares the frames that define al Qaeda's collective identity with those of the Sudanese National Islamic Front and the Afghan Taliban to see if observed variation in haven resiliency can be explained by the levels of shared collective identities in each case. The findings suggest that the theory can account for the variation in resiliency, while raising new questions for future research.
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