Threat Perception, Policy Diffusion, and the Logic of Terrorist Group Designation

Studies in Conflict and Terrorism 2021

43 Pages Posted: 12 Jan 2022

See all articles by Mirna El Masri

Mirna El Masri

University of Mannheim; German Institute for Global and Area Studies

Brian J. Phillips

University of Essex - Department of Government; Centro de Investigación y Docencia Económicas (CIDE) - Division of International Studies

Date Written: November 18, 2021

Abstract

Many governments maintain lists of terrorist groups, imposing sanctions on designated organizations. However, the logic behind designation remains unclear. Furthermore, most studies focus on Western countries. This paper develops arguments for why attack attributes, group attributes, and policy diffusion might explain proscription. Empirically, we examine hundreds of militant organizations to see which are listed by India, the European Union, Pakistan, Russia, the United States, or the United Kingdom. Generally, designation does not seem to be driven by target or attack severity. It often results from diffusion: most countries follow the United States. Islamist group motivation is also an important factor.

Keywords: terrorism, counterterrorism, terrorist organizations, designation, proscription

JEL Classification: F51, F52, H56

Suggested Citation

El Masri, Mirna and Phillips, Brian J., Threat Perception, Policy Diffusion, and the Logic of Terrorist Group Designation (November 18, 2021). Studies in Conflict and Terrorism 2021, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3972165 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3972165

Mirna El Masri

University of Mannheim ( email )

A5, A6
Mannheim, 68159
Germany

German Institute for Global and Area Studies

Neuer Jungfernstieg 21
Hamburg, 20354
Germany

Brian J. Phillips (Contact Author)

University of Essex - Department of Government ( email )

Wivenhoe Park
Colchester CO4 3SQ, CO4 3SQ
United Kingdom

Centro de Investigación y Docencia Económicas (CIDE) - Division of International Studies ( email )

Mexico City
Mexico

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