Understanding and Influencing Public Support for Insurgency and Terrorism

Understanding and Influencing Public Support for Insurgency and Terrorism

Understanding and Influencing Public Support for Insurgency and Terrorism

Understanding and Influencing Public Support for Insurgency and Terrorism

Synopsis

Using and testing a conceptual model that draws on social science and particularly social movement theory, this volume examines public support for al-Qa'ida's transnational jihadist movement, the Taliban insurgency in Afghanistan, the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) in Turkey, and the Maoist insurgency in Nepal. The authors discuss which factors were most salient across cases, how their importance varied in each case, and how this understanding can inform strategy.

Excerpt

This monograph contributes to a series of rand studies relating social-science concepts to insurgency and terrorism. the project was requested by the Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Organization (JIEDDO) as one component of follow-on research building on an earlier rand study,

Paul K. Davis and Kim Cragin, eds., Social Science for Counterter
rorism: Putting the Pieces Together
, 2009.

The monograph focuses on public support for insurgency and terrorism and how it can be influenced. It is organized around the testing and refinement of conceptual models that seek to integrate much of what is known from relevant social science about public support. the primary intended audiences are officials and staffs concerned with strategy, policy, strategic communications, and analysis relating to international terrorism and irregular warfare, but the monograph should also be of interest to the wider scholarly community concerned with insurgency and terrorism.

Comments and questions are welcome and should be addressed to the project leaders: Paul K. Davis (pdavis@rand.org) and Eric Larson (larson@rand.org).

Other follow-on studies were completed in 2010 by colleagues Todd Helmus, Brian Jackson, and Kim Cragin, which deal, respectively, with empirical information on individual reasons for participating in terrorism, terrorist decisionmaking, and unintended side effects of influence efforts.

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