Thursday, August 28, 2008

Violent Non-State Actors in the Middle Eastern Region

Just had my paper, Violent Non-State Actors in the Middle Eastern Region, published in Small Wars Journal. Here's a link.

Those interested in the topic may find it of interest, and I'd be happy to hear any feedback.

Here's the abstract:

The existing body of quantitative research concerning violent non-state actors is sparse at best. It is characterized by disparate definitions of non-state actor violence, and largely fails to discriminate between insurgency, civil war onsets, and terrorism. It also has conflicting theories and conclusions. Meanwhile, defining legitimacy in Arab governments and its affect on non-state actor violence is also problematic. In this paper I look strictly at non-state actor violence perpetrated by actors originating from Middle Eastern States. I use four separate data sources, including the ITERATE, RPC, World Development Indicators, and Witches Brew Homogeneity datasets to relate such factors as RPC, GDP, National Power, levels of instability, and societal homogeneity to examine the notion of opportunity and cause as factors in the advent of non-state violent actors. I find some support among this data for the notion that correlation exists between legitimacy of governance, societal homogeneity, perceptions of wealth inequality and legitimacy, and number non-state actor terror attacks.

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