International Political Economy of Terrorism and Migration
In recent years, the issue of immigration has become increasingly tied to the issue of terrorism. For instance, a 2016 Gallup poll across 14 European countries found that a median of 66 percent of respondents believed terrorism by non-residents to be a serious problem, while at the same time a median of 55 percent of respondents thought that migration is a similarly serious issue, with concerns about both issues being strongly positively correlated. This research project aims to answer three interrelated research questions. First, what are the determinants of terrorism? Second, what are the policy consequences of terrorism? And third, how does the research on the causes and policy effects of terrorism inform our thoughts about the terrorism-migration nexus?
Concerning the first research question, this project focuses on the role of socio-economic and institutional grievances (e.g., income inequality, corruption) in determining terrorist activity especially at the country-level. Given that socio-economic grievances also matter to international migration, this project also highlights how both “voice” (i.e., the use of terrorist violence) and “exit” (i.e., out-migration) are potential responses to such grievances.
Concerning the second and third question, this project examines how terrorism affects policymaking, especially concerning economic and immigration policy. That is, it asked whether terrorism has political effects in affected countries. In so doing, it examines the political economy of terrorism and migration. For instance, politicians may have an incentive to offer potential policy solutions to terrorism (e.g., stricter migration rules) to secure political support from the electorate. Indeed, this securitization of immigration, meaning that a non-security issue – such as migration – is linked to security concerns, is perhaps best exemplified by the so-called “Muslim Travel Ban” that was instituted by the Trump administration in 2017.