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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10023/889
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Title: How resisting democracies can defeat substate terrorism : formulating a theoretical framework for strategic coercion against nationalistic substate terrorist organizations
Authors: Berger, Michael Andrew
Supervisors: Lang, Anthony F.
Boyle, Michael
Keywords: Terrorism
Terror
Counter-terrorism
Counter-terror
Coercion
Strategic coercion
Counterterrorism
Strategic studies
Strategy
Al Qaeda
Al Qa'ida
Substate threat
Insurgency
Counter-insurgency
Coercive diplomacy
Military coercion
IRA
Northern Ireland
Palestinian Territories
Israel
Hamas
Fatah
Terrorists
Insurgents
War on terror
Nationalistic terrorist organization
Deterrence
Grand strategy
Popular support
Policy
Government policy
National defense
Defence
United Kingdom
American
United States
Democracies
Issue Date: Jun-2010
Abstract: The following dissertation develops a theoretical framework for guiding the strategy of democratic states in successfully countering the hostilities of nationalistic substate terrorist organizations (NSTOs), and effectively manipulating the terrorist group’s (and its supporting elements’) decision-making calculus. In particular, the theory of strategic coercion has been chosen as a basis for formulating this framework, based upon: 1) the invaluable guidance it offers in dynamically drawing upon all instruments of national power—economic, diplomatic, military, etc.—to accomplish politico-strategic objectives; and 2) the unique insights it provides into making strategic moves aimed at influencing the choices taken by an adversary. However, strategic coercion theory as it currently stands is inadequate for applications against substate terrorist organizations. As a quintessential cornerstone for prescriptive policy in strategic studies, such a looming deficiency vis-à-vis one the most important security threats of the modern age is unacceptable. The new theoretical framework established in this dissertation—entitled the Balance Theory of strategic coercion—addresses this deficiency. The Balance Theory stresses that three key coercive elements of strategic coercion are fundamentally important for successfully ending the hostilities posed by NSTOs, being: A) Isolation of external/international support; B) Denial; and C) Isolation of popular support. It posits that these three aspects of strategic coercion serve as the sine qua non for success in countering an NSTO’s campaign of violence and effectively manipulating its decision-making process. Implementation of these three elements, moreover, must be pursued in tandem, taking care so as not to sacrifice one aspect for the other. The Balance Theory is tested through the employment of case-study analysis. In pursuing this end, both cross-case and within-case analyses are performed, accompanied by the utilization of the methods of focused, structured comparison. The cases examined are those of: 1) The United Kingdom versus Republican NSTOs (1969-2007); and 2) Israel versus Palestinian NSTOs (1967-present). The dissertation concludes with an examination of how the Balance Theory may provide insights for the formulation of counter-terrorism strategy against Al Qaeda in the current "War on Terror".
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10023/889
Type: Thesis
Publisher: University of St Andrews
Appears in Collections:International Relations Theses



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