Switching costs, grassroots support of terrorism and the escalation of conflict

Article


Phillips, Peter J.. 2012. "Switching costs, grassroots support of terrorism and the escalation of conflict." The European Journal of Social Sciences. 31 (2), pp. 148-159.
Article Title

Switching costs, grassroots support of terrorism and the escalation of conflict

ERA Journal ID200472
Article CategoryArticle
Authors
AuthorPhillips, Peter J.
Journal TitleThe European Journal of Social Sciences
European Journal of Social Sciences
Journal Citation31 (2), pp. 148-159
Number of Pages12
Year2012
Place of PublicationLeicestershire, United Kingdom
ISSN1450-2267
Web Address (URL)http://www.europeanjournalofsocialsciences.com/ISSUES/EJSS_31_2_02.pdf
Abstract

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the relevance of 'switching costs' to the problem of terrorism and grassroots support of terrorism. Grassroots supporters that choose between the terrorist organisation and the government may face considerable costs in switching their support after their initial decision has been made. This paper presents an analysis of competition between the terrorist organisation and the government for grassroots support within a two-period economic setting. If grassroots supporters face costs, which may be either tangible or psychological costs, in switching to the government if they initially supported the terrorist organisation (and vice versa), economic theory produces results that have important policy implications. Of most importance, it can be shown that when grassroots supporters have switching costs there is more intense competition between the terrorist organisation and the government for grassroots support. Also, when grassroots supporters have switching costs, the terrorist organisation and the government must invoke more extreme measures in order to win supporters away from the other party.

Keywordsterrorism; switching costs; grassroots support; terrorist organisation; government; competition; conflict; extreme supporters
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020441004. Social change
440811. Political theory and political philosophy
380304. Microeconomic theory
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Byline AffiliationsSchool of Accounting, Economics and Finance
Institution of OriginUniversity of Southern Queensland
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