More Bang for the Buck?: Examining the Effect of Technological Change on Terrorist Use of Weapons of Mass Destruction
This study utilizes a framework that examines the effects of technological change on patterns of terrorist behavior with the aim of indicating the behavioral and technological mechanisms behind changes in the instruments of terror. The study focuses upon various models of technological change which are beginning to be used in social science, particularly the concept of disruptive versus sustaining technologies. Among other approaches, it investigates whether WMD, as used by terrorists, is a sustaining or disruptive technology. If WMD in this context acts as a disruptive technology (which prima facie indications suggest), then changes in terrorist behavior can be both swift and comprehensive, i.e., the transition to using WMD as the strategic weapon of choice can be both sudden and permanent.