Moghadam 2006 - Studies in Conict & Terrorism,...

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, 29:707–729, 2006 ISSN: 1057-610X print / 1521-0731 online DOI: 10.1080/10576100600561907 Suicide Terrorism, Occupation, and the Globalization of Martyrdom: A Critique of Dying to Win ASSAF MOGHADAM John M. Olin Institute for Strategic Studies Harvard University Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA This article oFFers a three-pronged critique oF Robert A. Pape’s book Dying to Win . The ±rst section oF the article highlights problems related to the book’s de±nition oF key concepts, its assessment oF existing research on suicide terrorism, and its presentation oF data. The next section challenges the book’s argument that suicide attacks have a high success rate oF 54 percent. The alternative analysis oFFered here arrives at a signi±cantly lower success rate oF 24 percent. The last section argues that Pape exaggerates the link between occupation and suicide terrorism, especially with regard to the case oF Al Qaeda. In this context, a distinction between traditional (localized) and contemporary (globalized) patterns oF suicide attacks is introduced. It is argued that the occupation thesis may help explain the traditional (localized) pattern oF suicide attacks, but Falls short oF illuminating the causes oF the contemporary “globalization oF martyrdom.” The growing interest in suicide terrorism in recent years, and particularly since 11 September 2001, has generated a steep rise in the number of books that address a topic that is inherently fascinating—a mode of operations that requires the death of its perpetrator to ensure its success. Since 2001, when the ±rst book on suicide terrorism was published, 1 journalists, terrorism experts, and political scientists have examined this phenomenon from a variety of angles, including in-depth interviews with suicide bombers, comparative studies, historical accounts, or a combination of those. 2 Notable in nearly all of these studies was the absence of statistical data—a problem that terrorism analysts have long decried. In Dying to Win: The Strategic Logic oF Suicide Terrorism , 3 Robert A. Pape, Professor of Political Science at the University of Chicago, demonstrates that it is indeed possible to assemble statistical data about terrorist incidents, and that empiricism can help shed new light on the study of the etiology of terrorism, and speci±cally suicide terrorism. Pape, who also directs the Chicago Project on Suicide Terrorism, offers a series of provocative arguments that address the origins of suicide terrorism. Some of his ±ndings Received 27 December 2005; accepted 27 December 2005. The author is indebted to Bruce Hoffman, Sean Lynn-Jones and Monica Duffy Toft for their helpful comments.
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Moghadam 2006 - Studies in Conict & Terrorism,...

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