When does a country's history of conflict encourage terrorism, and when is its legacy a deterrent? When does a government's policy of appeasing terrorism decrease terrorism, and when is a policy of repression effective? What sorts of political institutions turn terrorism into legitimate dissent? These questions have troubled the contentious politics literature from Gurr (1970) to Lichbach (1995) to McAdam, Tarrow, and Tilly (2001). The issues are fundamental. Contentious politics sometimes breeds terrorism, and sometimes forestalls it. Appeasement, as does repression, sometimes works, and sometimes fails. Some states seem constitutionally vulnerable to terrorism, and others configuratively immune. Even though conflict histories, policy regimes, and political institutions thus figure prominently in narrative accounts and statistical analyses of terrorism, nearly three decades of scholarly and policy reflection have not located the underlying mechanisms behind the crucial conflict history–terrorism, policy regime–terrorism, and political institutions–terrorism relationships.
Lichbach, Mark Irving. 2005. "Information, Trust, and Power: The Impact of Conflict Histories, Policy Regimes, and Political Institutions on Terrorism." International Studies Review 7 (March): 162-165. https://academic.oup.com/isr/article/7/1/162/1797599