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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/27569

Title: Harsh State Repression and Suicide Bombing: The Second Palestinian Intifada (Uprising), 2000-05
Authors: Abdalrahmanalaraj, Bader
Advisor: Brym, Robert
Department: Sociology
Keywords: state repression
suicide bombing
Issue Date: 9-Jun-2011
Abstract: This dissertation draws attention to the interaction between insurgents and the target state as the appropriate context for explaining the motivations of suicide bombers, the rationales of the organizations that support them, and the popularity in certain societies of suicide bombing. Based mainly on data collected from 88 interviews conducted in 2006 with senior leaders of six Palestinian political organizations and close relatives and friends of a 25 percent representative sample of Palestinian suicide bombers during the second intifada, it demonstrates the following: (1) During the second intifada, changes in the political opportunity structure, especially extreme state repression, were chiefly responsible for growing public support for suicide bombing, the development of organizational rationales justifying suicide bombing, and the crystallization of suicide bombers’ motivation to act. State repression produced a widespread desire for revenge at all levels of Palestinian society. (2) Cultural forces, notably the growing popularity of fundamentalist Islam and its embodiment in the political culture of certain militant organizations, were of secondary importance in causing the spread of suicide bombing. (3) Strategic calculations (“rational choice”) aimed at speeding the liberation of occupied territory were of tertiary importance in motivating suicide bombers but they figured more prominently at the level of organizational rationales. (4) While the literature often invokes creative agency, psychopathology, and material deprivation to explain the rise of suicide bombing, little or no effect was discovered for these variables.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/27569
Appears in Collections:Doctoral

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