Towards understanding terrorism: a theoretical examination of internal cohesion in terrorist groups and the negative dynamic of violence
Sper, Mary K.
McCormick, Gordon H.
MetadataShow full item record
Terrorism, like other forms of political violence, has an organizational context. Few studies, however, have considered the influence of organizational life upon the outward behavior of the terrorist group. This thesis explores the possibility that terrorism, in addition to its political context, reflects the internal dynamics of the terrorist group. Assuming that action is what binds the terrorist group together, the use of violence may oftentimes be dictated more by the need to satisfy the internal goal of group survival than to directly further the group's external political agenda. Focusing upon internal cohesion as the critical mediating variable for group survival, this paper examines how the terrorist group's efforts to maintain itself drives violent behavior that transcends political considerations and operational prudence. When external and internal requirements become contradictory, the terrorist group faces a dilemma. Caught in a vicious cycle of reacting to strategic failure with more violent action in order to maintain itself, the terrorist group generates a negative dynamic of violence that not only undermines its chances of achieving stated long-term goals but also accelerates its decline.
Showing items related by title, author, creator and subject.
Naval Postgraduate School Center for Homeland Defense and Security (CHDS) (Monterey, California. Naval Postgraduate SchoolCenter for Homeland Defense and Security, 2006-07);July 2006. The July 2006 issue of Homeland Security Affairs offers articles about risk perception, domestic right wing extremist groups, social network analysis, and the impact of foreign policy on homeland security. It ...
Freeman, Michael (International Studies Association, 2008-03-26);While many people like to think of terrorists as irrational fanatics, research has shown this to be inaccurate for most individual terrorists1 and especially for the terrorist group as a whole.2 As rational organizations, ...
Lockett, Charles E. (Monterey, California. Naval Postgraduate School, 1994-03);The potential for conflict between the United States and terrorist groups is higher than in the recent past. This thesis attempts to understand the underlying causes for the rise and fall of ...