Dr. Scott Helfstein publishes an article at Defence and Peace Economics titled “Social Capital and Terrorism.” An article summary follows.

Many studies of terrorism explain the use of violence against civilians with political or economic forces, often relegating social variables to the margins. Social factors, specifically societal-level social capital, play a far more important role in explaining patterns of terrorist activity than previously recognized. Social capital can exert pressures that act as both restraint and catalyst for terrorism, making explicit exposition of these differential effects critical. Analysis shows that higher stocks of social capital positively correlate with the number of terrorist groups, but the average attack activity of those groups increase as measures of social capital decline. The complex relationship makes it difficult to draw simple policy implications, but it does offer insight into the role that social dynamics play in terrorist activity.

The full text is available here

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