Abstract

The article uncovers evidence that the end of the Cold War has provided a dividend in terms of reduced transnational terrorism. Significant short-run and long-run effects are quantified with time-series analysis to be concentrated in reduced bombings and hostage-taking incidents. Presumably, this dividend is the result of less state-sponsorship of terrorism by the Commonwealth of Independent States and other states, as well as the result of measures taken by industrial states to thwart terrorist attacks. A dividend does not appear until the last three quarters of 1994, at which time moves were well under way to integrate Eastern Europe with the West. Moreover, prior to this period, significant efforts had been made among Western nations to augment cooperative efforts to curb terrorism and to bring terrorists to justice. Using data for 1970 through mid-1996, we also examine trends and cycles in terrorist modes of attack. There is virtually no evidence of an upward trend in transnational terrorism, contrary to media characterizations. All types of terrorist incidents display cycles whose duration lengthens with logistical complexity. Any change in these cycles in the post–Cold War era is concentrated in the high-frequency or short-lived cycles.

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