Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
The Terrorist's DilemmaManaging Violent Covert Organizations$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Jacob N. Shapiro

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780691157214

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691157214.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM PRINCETON SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.princeton.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Princeton University Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in PRSO for personal use.date: 24 February 2020

The Terrorist’s Dilemma

The Terrorist’s Dilemma

(p.26) Chapter 2 The Terrorist’s Dilemma
The Terrorist's Dilemma

Jacob N. Shapiro

Princeton University Press

This chapter analyzes the fundamental organizational challenges of terrorism in greater depth. Using a wide variety of evidence, it examines why terrorist groups, since the 1880s, have struggled with the terrorist's dilemma and lays out an argument about how and why group solutions to that dilemma vary predictably in response to four factors. These four factors include the demand for discrimination in the use of violence, or how important carefully targeted violence is, given the group's political goals; the level of uncertainty about which targets serve political goals, or how hard it is to judge what kinds of attacks will advance a group's goals; the extent of preference divergence in the group, or how much people in an organization disagree about how to best use violence to accomplish their stated goals; and the intensity of government security pressure, or how risky it is to engage in the communications required to manage a given organization.

Keywords:   organizational challenges, terrorism, terrorist groups, violence, political goals, preference divergence

Princeton Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.