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Lecture 2

PSC 100 Lecture 2: Political Violencec Notes

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University of Tampa
Political Science
PSC 100
Matthew Becker

Democracies and Terrorism ● Democracies face less internal political violence ○ Cuz groups can voice opinion within the system ● Dem. states attract more political violence than non-dem states ○ Cuz a threatened public in a liberal democracy can cause the government to change ■ Power of the ballot box ● Dem states are attractive targets for terrorism because of sensationalist media ○ If it bleeds, it leads ● Free advertising, and an exponential increase in fear ○ News companies promote fear by talking about the issues terrorism in involved in ● Terrorist groups are more likely to be found in democracies compared to dictatorships ○ Because people are open to talk about them ● Political constraints on the executive was associated with greater terrorist attack ○ Strong executive = less terrorism ● Restrictions on civil liberties has no effect on terrorism ○ PR system experiences fewer incidences ○ Gov. restraints are the biggest facilitators of terrorism in liberal democracies Mass Media ● Left wing and secular groups use media to show the heavy hand of government and win support to the other side ● Fundamentalist groups, with the exception of hamas, don't care about this aspect Authoritarianism and Terrorism ● In auth. States, state controlled media will not cover attacks w/o gov approval ○ Closed media limits your message ● Ex. in china many people are unaware of attacks and muslim unrest in Autonomous Regions ○ Internet sensors block certain twitter hashtags Political Violence ● Dem states should face less political violence since we run the system ● Non-dem states don’t voice the system so they should have higher violence ● When attack occurs in liberal dem. State, it faces dilemma on how to solve it ○ If we respond passively, we look weak and get attacked more ○ If we respond aggressively, it could increase support for terrorist groups Islam and Politics ● Iran is the closest thing to a theocracy ○ Velayat-e Faqih (rule by clerics) ○ Supreme leader: Ayatolla Khamene’i ○ President: Hassan Rouhani ● Established in 1979 with the overthrow of Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi ● Kingdom Of Saudi Arabia ○ Sharia Law ■ Beheading for punishment ○ Wahhabi Movement ■ Founder: Muhannad al-Wahhab ■ Goal: return to pristine community ■ Salafi tradition, Mosque should be plain ● Is there something about Islam that lend itself towards authoritarianism, or is there an underlying factor? ● Ex. ​Turkey ○ Muslim majority
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