Read the articles below regarding the relationship between ideology and target selection and answer the questions that follow.
Austin L. Wright, Terrorism, Ideology and Target Selection.
Max Abrahms, Matthew Ward, and Ryan Kennedy, Explaining Civilian Attacks: Terrorist Networks, Principal-Agent Problems, and Target Selection.
Answer each of the following questions after you’ve read the listed articles. Each question will require a short essay response based on the reading material.
According to Abrahms, et al., process goals compete with outcome goals among principal and agent terrorist organizations. Explain a principal terrorist organization and an agent terrorist organization. Give examples. In your view, which type of terrorist organization wields the most power to achieve its goals? Why?
Abrahms, et al., frames the target selection of terrorists in terms of outcome versus process goals.
Which type of terrorist organization is most likely to focus on outcome goals? Why?
Which type of terrorist organization is most likely to focus on process goals? Why?
Explain the types of targets the focus of each of these goals is likely to choose. Why does each desired goal, outcome and process, select the target it does?
As explained by Wright, right-wing and left-wing terrorist groups generally focus on different groups as targets. What are the general differences Wright has found supported by the empirical data?
Another generalization suggested by the data, according to Wright, was how European governments have responded to terrorist attacks. What are the generalizations Wright has noted?
Is there normally a distinction between professed ideology of a group and that of the individual members? If so, why? If not, why not?
What are major classifications for terrorist ideologies? Please note and briefly define those classifications.
Wright presents a reasonable argument for the most opportunistic time for a government to confront a terrorist group. What is Wright’s generalization?
According to Wright, what are the only consistent predictors of terrorist target selection? Provide illustrations that help explain this generalization.
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