Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
First Committee Member
Second Committee Member
Third Committee Member
Fourth Committee Member
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
University of Nevada, Las Vegas
Defeo, Michael A., "MENA Terrorism and the West: Explaining Why Terrorist Groups from the Middle East and North Africa Target Western Democracies" (2023). UNLV Theses, Dissertations, Professional Papers, and Capstones. 4670.
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