A Department of Homeland Security Center of Excellence led by the University of Maryland

A consortium of researchers dedicated to improving the understanding of the human causes and consequences of terrorism

Democratic Pieces: Democratization and the Origins of Terrorism


Democratic Pieces: Democratization and the Origins of Terrorism

Abstract: 

Why are terrorist groups more prevalent in democracies than in nondemocracies?  Why do individuals and groups resort to terrorist violence rather than using legal channels through which to express their grievances? Two different theoretical arguments in the literature argue different interactions between democracy and terrorism. One theoretical perspective argues that democracy will reduce terrorism as a phenomenon because democracies offer avenues for interest articulation among citizens and endorse nonviolent resolutions of conflicts. Because of the increased ability to express grievances, individuals and groups will pursue nonviolent alternatives to terrorism.

Publication Information

Full Citation: 

Chenoweth, Erica. 2008. "Democratic Pieces: Democratization and the Origins of Terrorism." In Coping with Contemporary Terrorism: Origins, Escalation, and Response, eds. Rafael Reuveny, and William R. Thompson. Buffalo, NY:SUNY Press, 97-126.

START Author(s): 
Erica Chenoweth
Publication URL: 
Visit Website

Additional Info

Research Area: 
Regions: