Despite the fact that theories of violent conflict are dyadic in nature, extant quantitative studies of terrorism focus almost exclusively on terrorist groups and their actions. Without looking at events initiated by both states and terrorist organizations, patterns of interactions between the two that reveal causal relationships, will remain unidentifiable. Moreover, while existing research has observed both internal and international diffusion of violence in other types of conflicts, the lack of quantitative data on government counterterrorism activities has precluded this type of spatial analysis for terrorism. Finally, with only a few exceptions, existing quantitative analyses have examined violent attacks in isolation. However, government and terrorist forces routinely engage in non-violent confrontational behavior (e.g. subversive propaganda) and conciliatory actions (e.g. cease fires, negotiations). This project begins to fill these gaps.
This research leverages existing (the Global Terrorism Database, the Uppsala Conflict Data Program Georeferenced Event Dataset and the Worldwide Integrated Crisis Early Warning System) and original (collected from Ministry of National Defense records) geocoded data to explore confrontational and conciliatory government and terrorist actions in Colombia from 2002 to 2016. Spatially-weighted regression analysis will explicate the effect of government actions on the spatial patterns of terrorist activities.