Vol. 5 No. 2 (2022): Pakistan Journal of International Affairs


Published 2022-06-29


This article analyses the rationale behind terrorist operations carried out specifically for the benefit of ethnic identity groups. Terrorism research has largely overlooked the ethnic dimension of some terrorist operations in favor of formulating or testing principles that apply to all terrorist acts, regardless of ideological leaning. The study that does address ethnic terrorism attributes it to either a broad and ill-defined definition of nationalism or characteristics that may be unique to a small number of events. This study explores the potentially most significant drivers of ethnic terrorism: political and economic grievances with the host state, as well as competition within the ethnic community's elites for control over the group. As a result, model results should provide better explanations for ethnic terrorism outcomes by directly connecting group features to group terrorism rather than country characteristics or subnational factors aggregated to the country level. According to the data, political grievances and elite competition raise the risk of ethnic terrorism, although economic concerns are rarely associated with this sort of violence.