Date of Award

11-19-2009

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Political Science

First Advisor

Sean Richey PhD - Committee Chair

Second Advisor

Michael Herb PhD - Committee Member

Third Advisor

Scott Graves PhD - Committee Member

Abstract

This research examines the commonly explicated theory that democracy is a moderating force on the public’s support for terrorism. Specifically, I test the hypothesis that living in a democracy will decrease support for terror in Muslim populations. I analyze survey data on support for terrorism from the 2006 Pew Global Attitudes Survey, which has data from 10 nations. I use an ordered logistic regression model to test what determines support for terrorism. The results show that democracy negatively correlates with support for terror. Additionally, I find that opinions toward US policy in the region, including the ‘Global War on Terror’ and US support for Israel, do not correlate with support for terrorism. The results inform our understanding of why certain members of Muslim society that do not engage in acts of violence against civilians in defense of Islam support terror none-the-less.

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