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Ties That Do Not Bind (Directly): The Education-Terrorism Nexus Revisited

By Sarah Brockhoff, Tim Krieger and Daniel Meierrieks


This contribution offers a comprehensive empirical analysis of the effects of education on terrorism for 118 countries for the period 1984 to 2007. We find that education and terrorism are not directly linked, so that education neither fosters nor retards terrorism on its own. Rather, our results suggest that education may fuel terrorist activity in the presence of poor political and socio-economic conditions, whereas bet- ter education in combination with favorable conditions decreases terrorism. Thus, the precise effect of education on terrorism depends on country-specific conditions. A successful anti-terrorism strategy should therefore focus on a country's political and socio-economic development, in addition to educational, terrorism, counter-terrorism, development strategies, condi- tional effects

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