Identity, Social Distance, and Palestinian Support for the Roadmap

Working Papers

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CDDRL Working Papers, page(s): 41

August 2004

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Suicide attacks occur in the context of a conflict between warring groups, supported by an organization and sometimes even by families and communities which proudly sacrifice their children. Their design and planning, the construction of weapons and associated equipment, the recruitment of trainers and attackers, and the actual execution all occur within a group engaged in a conflict. Understanding the use of suicide attacks as a tactic of war requires understanding all the factors identified in the study of diplomacy and military strategy - military capability of the warring parties, terrain, payoffs and costs, etc. But that is not enough. Understanding suicide attacks also requires heightened attentiveness to support among the general population, for suicide attacks would not long endure without popular support. Understanding the social climate is thus a key ingredient in understanding suicide attacks.

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