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Does Terrorism Work?


Kosovo police officers escort unidentified Kosovo Albanian men who are suspects in a terror plot, to a court in Kosovo's capital Pristina,  July 12, 2015.

Kosovo police officers escort unidentified Kosovo Albanian men who are suspects in a terror plot, to a court in Kosovo's capital Pristina,  July 12, 2015.

Visar Kryeziu/AP

If you define terrorism as systematic, indiscriminate violence against civilian targets for political purposes, and then look at non-governmental groups who have practiced terrorism, can you say that those groups have achieved their goals?

It turns out, the answer is no. Political Science professor Page Fortna analyzed 104 rebel groups fighting in large civil wars after 1989 and found that, for the most part, non-terrorist groups were more likely to reach settlement or victory.

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