Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Terrorism and Poverty: Decoupled at last?

Interesting story. A Kennedy School of Government at Harvard study has shown that there is no link between levels of poverty and terrorism. Interestingly, the environment which breeds terrorism appears to be one that falls in between an authoritarian and democratic system.

Interestingly, this phenomenon has been noted before from a different angle. Jack Snyder wrote a book entitled From Voting to Violence in 2000, which looked the problems posed by democratizing states. It was an interesting if not convincing piece of work, though now it looks like it might carry a bit more weight.

As an academic, I have heard this link between terror and poverty repeated as an undergrad, graduate student, and endlessly in talks and articles. It is largely accepted as fact within academia. Curiously, I have heard no one mention this in the halls at work. It will be interesting to see how this plays out.