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.
Written byConor Seyle, Matthew R. Walje, Kellie Brandt, Peter Kerins, Megan Matthews, Tyler Maybeeon June 10, 2015
This report is the fifth in a series by Oceans Beyond Piracy with support from OEF Research.These reports annually seek to assess the cost of maritime piracy - both economic and human - to the international community.
This policy brief is based on “The Role of Business in the Responsibility to Protect,” a chapter which appeared in The Responsibility to Protect and the Third Pillar: Legitimacy and Operationalization.
Written byJoseph Kim, Peter Taylor, Pat Barclayon October 23, 2014
Instructors of large classes often face challenges with student motivation. The classroom incentive structure – grades, extra credit, and instructor and peer acknowledgement – may shape student motivations to engage in their studies.