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The Terrorist's DilemmaManaging Violent Covert Organizations$
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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

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Uncertainty and Control in Russia

Uncertainty and Control in Russia

(p.131) Chapter 6 Uncertainty and Control in Russia
The Terrorist's Dilemma

Jacob N. Shapiro

Princeton University Press

This chapter analyzes the organization of pre-Revolutionary Russian terrorist groups in the 1880s and 1900s. Understanding these groups is useful in many ways. First, and most important, many of the organizational pathologies of terrorism are starkly illustrated by the travails of what were really the first modern terrorist organizations. Second, comparing these groups offers an opportunity to test hypotheses about the relationship between uncertainty and control. Third, the history of these groups is extremely well developed, in part because the archives of the Tsarist secret police were preserved, giving historians a rich set of investigative and interrogation reports to work with. Finally, the scale of violence in Russia was much greater than in Northern Ireland or Palestine. Examining this case thus complements the al-Qa'ida in Iraq case study in confirming that organizational dynamics described in preceding chapters are not unique to small-scale conflicts.

Keywords:   Russian terrorist groups, terrorism, terrorist organizations, uncertainty, Tsarist secret police, organizational dynamics

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