Workshop Attracts Top Terrorism Scholars

Some of the world’s leading terrorism researchers recently gathered at UT Dallas to discuss the causes and consequences of terrorism as well as growing threats and effective countermeasures.

Sponsored by the School of Economic, Political and Policy Sciences’ Center for Global Collective Action, the third annual academic workshop on terrorism policy featured new research by several dozen scholars from the United States and Europe.

The event, held May 20-21, was intended to encourage interdisciplinary interaction, according to Dr. Todd Sandler, director of the center and organizer of the workshop, who noted that several participants from previous years have collaborated on new projects as a result of ideas sparked during past workshops.

“This is the most focused conference of its kind,” Sandler said. “We are able to bring people together who have a wide range of expertise in subjects related to terrorism, and they are able to talk about the best ways to deal with it and possibly how to prevent it.”

The conference included scholars from economics, operations research, public health, statistics and political science. Participants presented papers exploring terrorism and policy using theoretical methods (such as game theory and rational choice models), empirical methods (such as time series and panel estimations) and experimental methods.

Among the topics discussed were governments’ policies regarding foreign aid and data sharing. Presentations also examined how domestic terrorism can sometimes expand to become international terrorism and how globalization may have played a role in the spread of terrorist beliefs. In examining the root causes, participants looked at poverty and a growing divide between rich and poor countries.

Visiting scholars came from a variety of research centers, including Yale University, the St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank, the University of Toulouse (France), the University of the Basque Country (Spain) and KOF Swiss Economic Institute. Some of the top papers will be refereed for inclusion in a special issue of the Journal of Peace Research.

Among the UT Dallas faculty discussing their recent findings and projects were economists Rachel Croson, Catherine Eckel and Daniel Arce, who discussed their plans for using experimental models to test government approaches to terrorism threats.

“We are glad to have the opportunity to bring world-class researchers to UT Dallas and expose them to the important work under way here,” Sandler said.

Workshop organizer Dr. Todd Sandler, left, with another workshop participant, Dr. Daniel Arce, professor of economics and head of the Economics Program.

Media Contact: The Office of Media Relations, UT Dallas, (972) 883-2155, [email protected].

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