A Gravity Model of Globalization, Democracy, and Transnational Terrorism

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Brock S. Blomberg
B. Peter Rosendorff
This paper provides an original study into how democratization and global- ization in uence transnational terrorism | examining the motives of terror- ists and how democratic institutions and international integration in uence non-state economic actors. We employ a gravity model to investigate the relative importance of globalization and democratization on transnational terrorism and external con ict. We construct an original database of over 200,000 observations from 1968-2003 for 189 countries, to examine the extent to which economic, political and historical factors in uence the likelihood of citizens from one country to engage in terrorist activities against another. We nd that the advent of democratic institutions, high income and more open- ness in a source country signi cantly reduces con ict. However, the advent of these same positive developments in targeted countries actually increases con ict. Ceteris paribus, the impact of being a democracy or participating in the WTO/IMF for a source country decreases the number of terrorist strikes by about 2 to 3 per year, which is more than two standard deviations greater than the average number of strikes between any two countries in a given year.