Terrorism, Employment, and Education Essay

Terrorism, Employment, and Education Essay

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This paper attempts to explain whether economic depravity in a region leads to support for terrorism using the case of the Israel/Palestine conflict in the Gaza strip. I will present and analyse quantitative data from a public opinion poll conducted in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, which queried participants about their support for militant and terrorist attacks against Israel. The presented data will be supplemented by statistics from the data that Alan B. Krueger of Princeton University that contains information on the employment and education of participants, which was procured from an original researcher in the aforementioned poll. In the end, the results of this poll do not suggest that there is a positive correlation between an individual’s economic depravity and their support for terrorism. First, I will lay out the key issues that need to be clarified.
It is a well understood economic observation that people have a greater propensity to commit property related crimes if they have a lower income and/or a lack of education (Ehrlich 1973: 521-565). It is a less well understood principle (especially by international policy makers) that the same cannot be said for violent crimes as there is typically no relation to economic opportunities. International policy makers tend to assume that the statistics on perpetrators of violent crimes are the same as the statistics on perpetrators of property crimes, and that violent crimes are analogous to terrorism, which leads them to say things like, “We fight against poverty because hope is an answer to terror.” (President George W. Bush, speaking in Monterrey, Mexico, in 2002). This begs the question, does economic depravity lead to increased support for terrorism?
The mistake made b...


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...s 17.4 (2003): 119-144
Lerner, Daniel. 1958. The Passing of Traditional Society: Modernizing the Middle East. Glencoe, Ill: Free Press.
Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research (PSR), About PSR accessed 2014, 20 May
Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research (PSR), PSR - Survey Research Unit: Public Opinion Poll #3. 2002. 26 May. Accessed 2014, 2 May
Piazza, James A. "Rooted in Poverty?: Terrorism, Poor Economic Development, and Social Cleavages "Terrorism and Political Violence 18.1 (2006): 159-177.
United Nations. 2002. Remarks by Mr. George W. Bush, President, at the International Conference on Financing for Development. Monterrey, Mexico.
United States Code. 2004. Title 22, Code § 2656f. Annual country reports on terrorism. Washington D.C.: State Department.

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