Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science



First Advisor

Victor Chen


As terrorism continues to evolve, can we better understand when a terrorist group will utilize mass violence as opposed to targeted violence? Jeff Goodwin argues that by understanding societal factors, we can predict when a terrorist organization will choose selective or categorical terrorism. But, can we rely on these societal factors alone or can other factors allow for a more complex understanding? After testing each of the variables and additional factors against three case studies, it became apparent that Goodwin’s theory could be utilized to better understand when a terrorist organization will utilize selective versus categorical terrorism. Additionally, the presence or absence of a culture of honor may also predict the type of violence a terrorist organization will utilize. I propose that future research examine the relationship between target and violence type and a culture of honor.


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Available for download on Tuesday, October 24, 2215