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Title: A Rationalist Model of Terrorist Kidnappings
Issue Date: 2-Apr-2018
Citation: TIMOTHY TAN JIA JIE (2018-04-02). A Rationalist Model of Terrorist Kidnappings. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: What explains the varied use of kidnappings by terrorist organizations? Kidnappings should be an attractive technique of choice, given that it allows for the achievement of publicity, financing, and other objectives. Yet, some organizations kidnap while others do not; within the organizations that have employed kidnappings, variation exists over time too. To address this puzzle, this thesis presents a rationalist model of terrorist kidnappings. Assuming that terrorist organizations are collectively rational, operating based on what March and Olsen term a “logic of expected consequences”, it is argued that organizational structure and critical constituency support are independent variables explaining the phenomenon of terrorist kidnappings. When a terrorist organization is decentralized, it is more likely to kidnap. Similarly, when a terrorist organization enjoys strong support from the local public or has operational cadres that are not ideologically motivated, it is more likely to kidnap. Employing two in-depth qualitative case studies, the model will be shown to be explanatory of the Abu Sayyaf Group's (ASG) varied use of kidnapping over time, and of the al-Jemaah al-Islamiyah's (AJAI) non-use of kidnappings.
Appears in Collections:Bachelor's Theses (Restricted)

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