How does the way in which a group organizes change the lethality of the group's attacks? In this article, we argue that groups organized vertically as hierarchies are likely to conduct more lethal attacks. We build our argument around three advantages inherent to centralized structures: functional differentiation, clear command and control structures, and accountability. We argue that each of these characteristics positively impacts an organization's ability to deliver an effective lethal blow. To test our argument, we use a mixed method approach, drawing on empirical evidence and support from a time-series case study. Our large-N analysis examines the trends in more than 19,000 attacks. In this test we develop a novel proxy measure for hierarchy based on a group's bases of operation and non-violent activities. To complement the empirical work, we examine the history of Euskadi Ta Askatasuna (ETA), the Basque separatist group. Over several decades of violent operations, this group's structure has changed dramatically. We analyze how these shifts impacted ETA's ability to maximize the effectiveness and damage of their attacks. In both the case study and large-N analysis, the more hierarchically organized the group, the more easily the group can orchestrate lethal attacks.
Drawing on empirical evidence and support from a time-series case study, groups organized vertically as hierarchies are likely to conduct more lethal attacks.
To complement the empirical work, the history of Euskadi Ta Askatasuna (ETA), the Basque separatist group is examined.
When is it sensible to say that group selection has shaped organismal design? This question has prompted many replies but few credible solutions. This article provides new work that exposes the causal relationships between phenotypes and fitness.
This article explains coup activity in democracies by adapting insights from the literature on commitment problems and framing coup around the threats leaders and potential coup plotters pose to each other.
Is a world without war possible in the 21st century?Trends in armed conflict and a developing body of social scientific research suggest that this idea is plausible.Based on a discussion of high-level experts held in 2014, this report reviews the
Written byDanielle F. Jung, Lindsay Hegeron September 29, 2015
When rebels provide social services, do they have more leverage negotiating the terms of a peace deal? The literature suggests service-providing groups may, on average, have a wider base of support and a more centralized organizational structure.