When Terrorism and Counterterrorism Clash: The War on Terror and the Transformation of Terrorist Activity

by Ivan Sascha Sheehan

Table of Contents

List of Tables and Figures



I A World of Terrorism and Counterterrorism

Chapter 1: The Challenge of Global Terrorism

Chapter 2: Strategic Choices

Grand Strategy

Deterrence: A Cold War Strategy

After 9/11: Preemption and Preventive War

The Strategy Debate

Calculating the costs

Decisions without Data?

Demands for Accountability

Chapter 3: The Nature of Terrorism and Counterterrorism

What is Terrorism?

What is transnational terrorism?

What is “Islamist” terrorism?

What is the War on Terrorism?

Chapter 4: The Origins of Terrorism and Counterterrorism

Explaining Terrorism

Early Models: Structural Strain and Grievance

Rational Choice and Realist Models

Social Movement and Resource Mobilization Models

Strategic Calculations

Explaining Counterterrorism

Does Force Escalate Terrorism?

The Empirical Evidence

Insights from the Social Movement Literature

Contributions from the Conflict Literature.

Evidence from the Asymmetric War Literature.

The Problem of Transnational Terrorism

II When Terrorism and Counterterrorism Clash

Chapter 5: How Do We Measure Success?

Questions, Hypotheses, And Theories

Research Methods

Sources of Information

Statistical Approach


Chapter 6: Are We Winning? The Results

The Bird’s eye View

Shifts in the Frequency of Incidents

Shifts in the Lethality of Incidents

Shifts in the Dispersion and Location of Incidents

Shifts in the Type of Attack

Shifts in the Type of Victim

Shifts in “Islamist” Perpetrated Terrorism

Summary of Findings

Chapter 7: Conclusions

Implications for Theory

Implications for Research

Implications for policy


Appendix A: Variables in Order of Appearance in Text

Appendix B: Countries Classified 50% or More Muslim in Data Set

Appendix C: Classification of “Islamist” Terrorist Groups

Appendix D. Explanation of Regression Output

Appendix E: RAND and ITERATE Compared

Overlapping and Unique Incidents





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