A Department of Homeland Security Center of Excellence led by the University of Maryland

A consortium of researchers dedicated to improving the understanding of the human causes and consequences of terrorism

The Determinants of Domestic Right-Wing Terrorism in the USA: Economic Grievance, Societal Change and Political Resentment


The Determinants of Domestic Right-Wing Terrorism in the USA: Economic Grievance, Societal Change and Political Resentment

Abstract: 

This study tests three categories of motivations for domestic right-wing terrorism in the USA: economic grievances, particularly those produced by economic restructuring; societal changes that challenge notions of white male privilege; and political and public policy elements that stoke resentments. Executing a series of negative binomial regression estimations on state-level data in the USA for the period 1970–2011, I find that measures of societal factors—specifically increase in abortion rates and growing female participation in the labor force—and political indicators such as Democratic Party control of the White House, precipitate right-wing terrorist attacks. Factors associated with economic hardships—such as poverty, the decline of manufacturing employment and the “Farm Crisis”—as well as growth of the non-white population, control of state government by the Democratic Party and growth of average Federal Income Tax rates—are not found to be significant predictors of right-wing terrorism.

Publication Information

Full Citation: 

Piazza, James A. 2015. "The Determinants of Domestic Right-Wing Terrorism in the USA: Economic Grievance, Societal Change and Political Resentment." Conflict Management and Peace Science (March). http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0738894215570429

START Author(s): 
James A. Piazza
Publication URL: 
Visit Website