The recent literature on the root causes of suicide terrorism yields several testable hypotheses, most notably that suicide attacks are a strategic response by terrorist groups confronting foreign occupation by democratic states. This study does not find empirical support for this and other common hypotheses and instead demonstrates that suicide terrorism is a product of political and organizational features of the terrorists themselves. While foreign occupation, religious diversity, and group typology do predict suicide attacks, democracies are not more likely to be targets of suicide terrorism. Terrorists, however, who are nationals of nondemocracies are significantly more likely to launch suicide attacks.
Piazza, James A. 2008. "A Supply-Side View of Suicide Terrorism: A Cross-National Study." The Journal of Politics 70 (January): 28-39. http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1017/s0022381607080024?seq=1#page_scan_tab_contents