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Terror and the Legitimation of Violence: A Cross-National Analysis on the Relationship between Terrorism and Homicide Rates

This article written by Marieke Liem & Alexander Kamprad investigates the relationship between terrorism and interpersonal violence. They conducted cross-national analyses on the effects of terrorism mortality rates on homicide rates. Results showed that terrorism appears to be robustly and positively associated with homicide.

Marieke Liem & Alexander Kamprad
20 March 2019

This finding is based on the calculation of a series of independently pooled and twoways fixed-effects models on a panel that incorporates more than 165 countries over 24 years (1991–2014). The results lend tentative support to the so-called “legitimation-habituation” hypothesis that was formulated in regard to the effects of security-related stress on homicide rates in Israel more than 30 years ago. The topic has been largely neglected ever since. While confirming a positive relationship between terrorism and homicide, this study concluded that a causal influence of terrorism on homicide rates is conceivable, but cannot conclusively be proven within the confines of the research design.

Alexander works as an international consultant on crime and security and Marieke Liem, associate professor at Leiden University, is the chair of the European Homicide Research Group and also leads the Violence Research Initiative at Leiden university.

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