27 April, 2014

Doing Well by Doing Bad | Political Violence @ a Glance

Doing Well by Doing Bad | Political Violence @ a Glance: Similarly, besieged governments typically insist that they will not cave to threats and violence from terrorists and thugs — Ronald Reagan famously stated in the 1980 presidential debates that there would be “no negotiation with terrorists of any kind”. But is this what actually happens during violent internal conflicts? Do the bad guys lose — as we would like — or do their underhanded tactics pay off by forcing concessions from state leaders?

Two recent studies present similarly unfortunate findings that suggest that the bad guys often do better than we would like. Specifically, these analyses provide evidence that insurgent groups that rely on terror and other forms of civilian targeting are actually more likely to achieve their political goals — at least up to a point.