Threat Perception, Policy Diffusion, and the Logic of Terrorist Group Designation
Studies in Conflict and Terrorism 2021
43 Pages Posted: 12 Jan 2022
Date Written: November 18, 2021
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: Suggested Citation