Award Date

May 2023

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Political Science

First Committee Member

John Tuman

Second Committee Member

David Damore

Third Committee Member

Jonathan Strand

Fourth Committee Member

John Curry

Number of Pages



Terrorist groups from the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region remain one of the most formidable threats to international security. While their organization and motives have been significantly different over time, a commonality is that they tend to disproportionately target Western democracies. This dissertation argues that this trend is mainly a consequence of the foreign policies that these states pursue in the region. These policies, in terms of support for Israel and interventionism, are theorized as being the precipitous causes of MENA terrorism. Likewise, it is argued that the democratic institutions and extents of globalization in these states are what make them more attractive targets. The restraints on the executive branches in these states along with their greater degrees of political fractionalization are what render them perceivably more coercible to terrorists, while their advances in information technologies and interconnectedness with other states have effectively extended the global reach of these terrorist groups. Ultimately, the influence of these factors has varied over several periods during which different types of MENA terrorist groups have been more prominent.


Democracy; International Security; Middle East; North Africa; Terrorism; Western Democracies


International Relations | Political Science

Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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