Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Public Policy & Administration

First Advisor

William W. Newmann


This study examines the patterns of involvement in terrorist activities for the Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party/Front (DHKP/C) and Turkish Hezbollah members. The study is based on the assumption that terrorists differ in terms of their involvement in terrorist activities. In this sense, there are full-time and part-time terrorists. Full-time terrorists act professionally and do the assignments given by their commanders. Part-time terrorists, on the other hand, act on a non-professional basis and have their own motivations to participate in terrorist activities. For part-timers, there are various factors that may have an effect on their degree of involvement in terrorist activities. Their decisions regarding whether to participate in a specific terrorist act can be influenced by individual factors as well as the instructions and assignments given to them. In this study, these factors are categorized under four different headings; demographic, relative deprivation, frustration, and social learning. Data regarding the involvement in terrorist activities (as measured by arrest records) and demographics (age, gender, marital status, social class), relative deprivation (education, work status), frustration (school dropout, loss of a loved one in a counter-terrorism operation, family arrest), and social learning (family association to a terrorist group and recruitment method) was collected from terrorists’ autobiographies. Research hypotheses were tested using bivariate and multivariate statistical analyses. The findings indicated that relative deprivation, frustration, and social learning models can explain the differences in the degree of involvement in terrorism for DHKP/C members, but not for Turkish Hezbollah members (controlling for demographic variables). The results showed that these three models may account for some of the differences in involvement in terrorist activities.


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Is Part Of

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Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission

August 2009