The Terrorist's Dilemma: Managing Violent Covert Organizations [NOOK Book]

Overview

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 ...

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The Terrorist's Dilemma: Managing Violent Covert Organizations

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Overview

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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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"In a unique study, Shapiro explores the management of such groups with considerable rigor, beginning with the nineteenth-century Russian progenitors of contemporary terrorist groups and ending with al Qaeda."—Foreign Affairs

"Shapiro's book offers theoretical insight into the working of covert organizations that removes many cobwebs that cloud our understanding of the phenomenon."—Gayatri Chandrasekaran, Mint

"Shapiro's topical historical overview, biographical profiles and case studies make for interesting reading. . . . Shapiro's advice is penetrating."—Survival

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781400848645
  • Publisher: Princeton University Press
  • Publication date: 8/4/2013
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Edition description: Course Book
  • Pages: 352
  • Sales rank: 284,761
  • File size: 3 MB

Meet the Author

Jacob N. Shapiro is assistant professor of politics and international affairs at Princeton University and codirects the Empirical Studies of Conflict Project.
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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vii
1 Introduction 1
1.1 The Challenge of Organizing Terror 3
1.2 The Terrorist's Dilemma 4
1.3 Why Understanding Hierarchy and Control Matters 10
1.4 What About 9/11? 13
1.5 Are Terrorist Organizations Really So Familiar? 15
1.6 Can We Treat Terrorist Organizations as Rational? 18
1.7 Plan of the Book 22
2 The Terrorist's Dilemma 26
2.1 Introduction 26
2.2 Why Preference Divergence? 34
2.3 How Groups Respond to Preference Divergence 49
2.4 The Difficult Challenge of Balancing Security with Efficiency and Control 56
2.5 Conclusion 61
3 The Insider's View on Terrorist Organizations 63
3.1 Organizing Terror 63
3.2 Data 65
3.3 Quantitative Analysis 68
3.4 Content Analysis: Some Good Stories 70
3.5 Conclusion 81
4 Organizing Al-Qa'ida in Iraq's Operations and Finances 82
4.1 Introduction 82
4.2 A Brief History of al-Qa'ida in Iraq 85
4.3 Managing AQI 89
4.4 Conclusion 98
5 The Tradeoffs 101
5.1 Introduction 101
5.2 Managing Terrorist Funds: The Security-Efficiency Tradeoff 103
5.3 Managing Terrorist Violence: The Security-Control Tradeoff 114
5.4 Discussion 127
6 Uncertainty and Control in Russia 131
6.1 Introduction 131
6.2 A Brief History of Pre-Revolutionary RussianTerrorism 132
6.3 A History of Pre-Revolutionary Terrorism 137
6.4 Uncertainty and Patterns of Control 151
6.5 Other Aspects of Russian Terrorism 160
6.6 Conclusion 167
7 Discrimination and Control in Ireland 169
7.1 Introduction 169
7.2 Discrimination and Patterns of Violence 171
7.3 Measuring Control 175
7.4 The Provisional IRA 176
7.5 The Loyalist Paramilitaries 191
7.6 Conclusion 202
8 Preference Divergence and Control in Palestine 205
8.1 Introduction 205
8.2 Fatah: The Challenges of Integration 209
8.3 Hamas 226
8.4 Control in Fatah and Hamas 239
8.5 Conclusion 247
9 Conclusion and Recommendations 249
9.1 Summary of the Argument 249
9.2 Exploiting Organizational Vulnerabilities 254
9.3 Conclusion 270
Appendix A Annotated Bibliography of Terrorist Autobiographies 272
A.1 Introduction 272
A.2 Terrorist Autobiographies 273
Appendix B Methodological Appendix 303
B.1 Case Selection 303
B.2 Sources 305
Bibliography 307
Index 323
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