Economic development, poorly managed political conflict and terrorism in India

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19 Scopus citations


Terrorism is frequently argued to be the product of poverty and poor levels of economic development in countries. Examining the distribution of terrorist attacks and casualties due to terrorism across the states of India, this article demonstrates that the phenomenon of terrorism is not a clear product of poor economic development but rather exacerbated by unresolved and poorly managed political conflict. Poorer states in India are not necessarily more prone to terrorism, but states that have outstanding and poorly addressed political disputes do experience a disproportionately high level of terrorist activity. This study examines six sources of political conflict that contribute to terrorism in India-separatist movements, ethnic conflict, communal conflict, the presence of scheduled castes and tribes, high population growth, and the phenomenon of stateless areas-and makes several observations on the successes and failures of Indian counterterrorism policy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)406-419
Number of pages14
JournalStudies in Conflict and Terrorism
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 2009

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Safety Research
  • Political Science and International Relations


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