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Lowest of the Low: Why Some Countries Suffer Terrorist Attacks against Schools


Lowest of the Low: Why Some Countries Suffer Terrorist Attacks against Schools

Abstract: 

The purpose of this research was to investigate whether terrorist attacks against schools and other educational institutions were more common in states with little respect for human rights for a sample of 75 countries from 1981–2010 using the Global Terrorism Database. Specifically, we examined whether religious repression by governments, state terrorism against civilians and female political and economic empowerment would influence attacks against schools and terrorist attacks against any targets. We found that government oppression of religious expression was associated with increased terrorist attacks against educational targets and that some levels of government violence against its citizens was associated with both increased terrorist attacks against educational targets and, to a lesser degree, all targets. Greater political empowerment of women was associated with increased terrorist attacks against educational targets. On the contrary, increased economic rights for women was associated with some decreases in terrorist attacks against educational targets and to a lesser degree, against any type of target. We concluded that government behaviour at the state level can affect terrorist behaviour and targeting by terrorist individuals or organizations when governments manufacture grievance by denying civilians human rights, including rights to religious expression, safety and security, and political and economic rights for women.

Publication Information

Full Citation: 

Fahey, Susan and Victor Asal. 2019. "Lowest of the Low: Why Some Countries Suffer Terrorist Attacks against Schools." Dynamics of Asymmetric Conflict (December). https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/17467586.2019.1700540

START Author(s): 
Victor Asal
Publication URL: 
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