International military interventions and transnational terrorist backlash: Research note

James A. Piazza, Seung Whan Choi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Are states that engage in foreign military interventions vulnerable to subsequent transnational terrorist attacks? If so, do all types of foreign interventions stimulate terrorism? Using data on international military interventions for 125 to 182 countries during the period from 1970 to 2005, we demonstrate that states experience more terrorism after they engage in military interventions. In particular, politico-strategic use of military force abroad-for example, interference in another country's domestic disputes, territorial interventions, or interventions to affect local politics and policy-leads to increased subsequent transnational terrorist attacks for the intervener. In contrast, socioeconomic foreign military interventions, such as those geared toward providing humanitarian relief, protecting social groups, or securing economic interests, do not lead to an increase in transnational terrorist attacks against intervening states.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)686-695
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Studies Quarterly
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Political Science and International Relations


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