Although empirical research has generally demonstrated that democracies experience more terrorism than autocracies, research suggests that this depends upon complex institutional differences that go beyond the democracy-autocracy divide. This study examines these differences, linking institutions to strategies of coercion and co-optation. Using zero-inflated negative binomial regression estimations on Geddes’ (2003) autocratic regime-type data for 161 countries between 1970 and 2006, we find that single-party authoritarian regimes consistently experience less domestic and international terrorism relative to military autocracies and democracies. This finding is robust to a large number of specifications, underscoring the explanatory power of regime type for predicting terrorism. Our explanation for these findings is that party-based autocracies have a wider range of coercion and co-option strategies that they can employ to address grievance and dissent than do other, more strategically restricted, regimes.
Wilson, Matthew C. and James A. Piazza. 2013. "Autocracies and Terrorism: Conditioning Effects of Authoritarian Regime-Type on Terrorist Attacks." American Journal of Political Science 57 (October): 941-955. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/ajps.12028/abstract