Government and International Relations Honors Papers

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Andrew Levin

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Under what conditions does political participation reduce levels of ethno-nationalist terrorist violence? The literature that exists concerning this subject contains a gap that this thesis will first explain and then attempt to fill. The case is made that ethno-nationalist terrorist violence is most reduced when state governments allow ethno-nationalist parties to participate in politics and when, at the same time, moderates control the ethno-nationalist terrorist group. This thesis concludes by suggesting that there is a correlation between hardliners holding power and higher levels of ethno-nationalist terrorist violence. In the case of Northern Ireland, a strong correlation also exists between moderates holding power and low levels of IRA violence. Additionally, this thesis suggests that a correlation does exist between state allowance for ethno- nationalist political participation and a reduction in levels of ethno-nationalist terrorist violence. This thesis lays the framework for important policy implications regarding ethno-nationalist terrorism.



The views expressed in this paper are solely those of the author.