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Comparative Politics

Honors Undergraduate Theses

Decapitations

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When To Strike: Exploring The Variables That Lead To Successful Decapitation Strikes, Renzo Pierres Jan 2019

When To Strike: Exploring The Variables That Lead To Successful Decapitation Strikes, Renzo Pierres

Honors Undergraduate Theses

The purpose of this thesis is to determine how different variables can affect a terrorist group's reaction to a targeted leadership strike, known as a decapitation strike. Decapitation strikes often produce unwanted results, such as a splintering of the terrorist group, or a failure to destroy the group. It is important that we understand which variables can lead to a group's destruction after a decapitation strike, to maximize the decapitation's effectiveness. In my research I have determined that group size, group ideological extremism, and the role of the leader targeted all have a substantial impact on the ...