Terrorist's Dilemma Managing Violent Covert Organizations

ISBN-10: 0691157219

ISBN-13: 9780691157214

Edition: 2013

Authors: Jacob N. Shapiro

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How do terrorist groups control their members? Do the tools groups use to monitor their operatives and enforce discipline create security vulnerabilities that governments can exploit? The Terrorist's Dilemma is the first book to systematically examine the great variation in how terrorist groups are structured. Employing a broad range of agency theory, historical case studies, and terrorists' own internal documents, Jacob Shapiro provocatively discusses the core managerial challenges that terrorists face and illustrates how their political goals interact with the operational environment to push them to organize in particular ways.Shapiro provides a historically informed explanation for why some groups have little hierarchy, while others resemble miniature firms, complete with line charts and written disciplinary codes. Looking at groups in Africa, Asia, Europe, and North America, he highlights how consistent and widespread the terrorist's dilemma--balancing the desire to maintain control with the need for secrecy--has been since the 1880s. Through an analysis of more than a hundred terrorist autobiographies he shows how prevalent bureaucracy has been, and he utilizes a cache of internal documents from al-Qa'ida in Iraq to outline why this deadly group used so much paperwork to handle its people. Tracing the strategic interaction between terrorist leaders and their operatives, Shapiro closes with a series of comparative case studies, indicating that the differences in how groups in the same conflict approach their dilemmas are consistent with an agency theory perspective.The Terrorist's Dilemma demonstrates the management constraints inherent to terrorist groups and sheds light on specific organizational details that can be exploited to more efficiently combat terrorist activity.
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Book details

List price: $26.95
Copyright year: 2013
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Publication date: 8/4/2013
Binding: Hardcover
Pages: 352
Size: 6.50" wide x 9.50" long x 1.00" tall
Weight: 1.342
Language: English

The Challenge of Organizing Terror
The Terrorist's Dilemma
Why Understanding Hierarchy and Control Matters
What About 9/11?
Are Terrorist Organizations Really So Familiar?
Can We Treat Terrorist Organizations as Rational?
Plan of the Book
The Terrorist's Dilemma
Why Preference Divergence?
How Groups Respond to Preference Divergence
The Difficult Challenge of Balancing Security with Efficiency and Control
The Insider's View on Terrorist Organizations
Organizing Terror
Quantitative Analysis
Content Analysis: Some Good Stories
Organizing Al-Qa'ida in Iraq's Operations and Finances
A Brief History of al-Qa'ida in Iraq
Managing AQI
The Tradeoffs
Managing Terrorist Funds: The Security-Efficiency Tradeoff
Managing Terrorist Violence: The Security-Control Tradeoff
Uncertainty and Control in Russia
A Brief History of Pre-Revolutionary Russian Terrorism
A History of Pre-Revolutionary Terrorism
Uncertainty and Patterns of Control
Other Aspects of Russian Terrorism
Discrimination and Control in Ireland
Discrimination and Patterns of Violence
Measuring Control
The Provisional LRA
The Loyalist Paramilitaries
Preference Divergence and Control in Palestine
Fatah: The Challenges of Integration
Control in Fatah and Hamas
Conclusion and Recommendations
Summary of the Argument
Exploiting Organizational Vulnerabilities
Annotated Bibliography of Terrorist Autobiographies
Terrorist Autobiographies
Methodological Appendix
Case Selection
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