Hostname: page-component-848d4c4894-wzw2p Total loading time: 0 Render date: 2024-05-23T12:47:08.744Z Has data issue: false hasContentIssue false

Going Abroad: Transnational Solicitation and Contention by Ethnopolitical Organizations

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  15 September 2014

Get access


Existing literature on contentious political movements has generally focused on domestic political activity. Using the new Minorities at Risk Organizational Behavior–Middle East data set (MAROB-ME), which contains organization-level data for 104 ethnopolitical organizations in the Middle East and North Africa, we analyze the decision of both violent and nonviolent organizations to engage in political activity transnationally. Among the results, we find that diaspora support is associated with transnational nonviolent protest, whereas foreign state support and domestic repression increase the use of transnational violence. The most robust finding, however, is that participation in the domestic electoral process consistently reduces the likelihood that an organization will engage in any political activity abroad.

Research Article
Copyright © The IO Foundation 2014 

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)


Abadie, Alberto. 2004. Poverty, Political Freedom, and the Roots of Terrorism. NBER Working Paper 10859. Cambridge, MA: National Bureau of Economic Research.Google Scholar
Abbot, Kenneth, and Snidal, Duncan. 1998. “Why States Act Through Formal International Institutions.” Journal of Conflict Resolution 41 (1):132.Google Scholar
Adamson, Fiona. 2006. Crossing Borders: International Migration and National Security. International Security 31 (1):165–99.Google Scholar
Albert, Mathias, Jacobson, David, and Lapid, Yosef. 2001. Identities, Borders, Orders: Rethinking International Relations Theory. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.Google Scholar
Arquilla, John, and Ronfeldt, David. 2001. Networks and Netwars: The Future of Terror, Crime, and Militancy. Santa Monica, CA: RAND.Google Scholar
Asal, Victor, Pate, Amy, and Wilkenfeld, Jonathan. 2008. Minorities at Risk Organizational Behavior Data and Codebook. Version 9/2008. Available at <>. Accessed 13 March 2014..+Accessed+13+March+2014.>Google Scholar
Barnett, Michael, and Finnemore, Martha. 2004. Rules for the World: International Organizations in Global Politics. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press.Google Scholar
Berman, Eli. 2003. Hamas, Taliban and the Jewish Underground: An Economist's View of Radical Religious Militias. NBER Working Paper 10004. Cambridge, MA: National Bureau of Economic Research.Google Scholar
Bloom, Mia. 2005. Dying to Kill: The Allure of Suicide Terror. New York: Columbia University Press.Google Scholar
Bob, Clifford. 2005. The Marketing of Rebellion: Insurgents, Media and International Activism. New York: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
Bob, Clifford. 2007. “Dalit Rights Are Human Rights”: Caste Discrimination, International Activism, and the Construction of a New Human Rights Issue. Human Rights Quarterly 29 (1):167–93.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Bob, Clifford. 2010. Packing Heat: Pro-Gun Groups and the Governance of Small-Arms. In Who Governs the Globe? edited by Avant, Deborah D., Finnemore, Martha, and Sell, Susan K., 183201. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
Brand, Laurie. 2006. Citizens Abroad: Emigration and the State in the Middle East and North Africa. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
Brysk, Alison. 1996. Turning Weakness into Strength: The Internationalization of Indian Rights. Latin American Perspectives 23 (2):3857.Google Scholar
Byman, Daniel, Chalk, Peter, Hoffman, Bruce, Rosenau, William, and Brannan, David. 2001. Trends in Outside Support for Insurgent Movements. Santa Monica, CA: RAND Corporation.Google Scholar
Campos, Nauro F., and Gassebner, Martin. 2009. International Terrorism, Political Instability, and the Escalation Effect. Discussion Paper 7226. Center for Economic Policy Research: London.Google Scholar
Carter, David. 2012. A Blessing or a Curse? State Support for Terrorist Groups. International Organization 66 (1):129–51.Google Scholar
Cederman, Lars-Erik, Wimmer, Andreas, and Min, Brian. 2010. Why Do Ethnic Groups Rebel? New Data and Analysis. World Politics 62 (1):87119.Google Scholar
Chandra, Kachan. 2004. Why Ethnic Parties Succeed: Patronage and Ethnic Head Counts in India. New York: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
Checkel, Jeffrey T. 2005. International Institutions and Socialization in Europe: Introduction and Framework. International Organization. 59 (4):801–26.Google Scholar
Chenoweth, Erica, and Stephan, Maria J.. 2011. Why Civil Resistance Works: The Strategic Logic of Nonviolent Conflict. New York: Columbia University Press.Google Scholar
Collier, Paul, Elliot, Lanni, Hegre, Håvard, Hoeffler, Anke, Reynal-Querol, Marta, and Sambanis, Nicholas. 2003. Breaking the Conflict Trap: Civil War and Development Policy. Washington, DC: World Bank/Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
Collier, Paul, and Hoeffler, Anke. 2004. Greed and Grievance in Civil War. Oxford Economic Papers 56 (4):563–95.Google Scholar
Conrad, Justin. 2011. Interstate Rivalry and Terrorism: An Unprobed Link. Journal of Conflict Resolution 55 (4):529–55.Google Scholar
Cooley, Alexander, and Ron, James. 2002. The NGO Scramble: Organizational Insecurity and the Political Economy of Transnational Action. International Security 27 (1):539.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Cordesman, Anthony H. 2006. Preliminary “Lessons” of the Israeli-Hezbollah War. Washington, DC: Center for Strategic and International Studies.Google Scholar
Crenshaw, Martha. 1981. The Causes of Terrorism. Comparative Politics 13 (4):379–99.Google Scholar
Darwish, Adel. 1999. Rebellion in Bahrain. Middle East Review of International Affairs 3 (1):8487.Google Scholar
Davis, David R, and Moore, Will H.. 1997. Ethnicity Matters: Transnational Ethnic Alliances and Foreign Policy Behavior. International Studies Quarterly 41 (1):171–84.Google Scholar
Della Porta, Donatella, and Tarrow, Sidney G., eds. 2005. Transnational Protest and Global Activism. Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield.Google Scholar
Disha, Illir, Cavendish, James. C., and King, Ryan. 2011. Historical Events and Spaces of Hate: Hate Crimes Against Arabs and Muslims in Post-9/11 America. Social Problems 58 (1):2146.Google Scholar
Elbadawi, Ibrahim, and Sambanis, Nicholas. 2000. External Interventions and the Duration of Civil War. Unpublished manuscript, Washington, DC: World Bank.Google Scholar
Enders, Walter, and Sandler, Todd. 2006. Distribution of Transnational Terrorism Among Countries by Income Class and Geography After 9/11. International Studies Quarterly 50 (2):367–93.Google Scholar
Enders, Walter, Sandler, Todd, and Gaibulloev, Khusrav. 2011. Domestic Versus Transnational Terrorism: Data, Decomposition, and Dynamics. Journal of Peace Research 48 (3):319–37.Google Scholar
Fearon, James D. 2003. Ethnic and Cultural Diversity by Country. Journal of Economic Growth 8 (2):195222.Google Scholar
Fearon, James. D., and Laitin, David D.. 2003. Ethnicity, Insurgency, and Civil War. American Political Science Review 97 (1):7590.Google Scholar
Feldmann, Andreas E., and Perälä, Maiju. 2004. Reassessing the Causes of Nongovernmental Terrorism in Latin America. Latin American Politics and Society 46 (2):101–32.Google Scholar
Findley, Michael, Piazza, James A., and Young, Joseph K.. 2012. Games Rivals Play: Terrorism in International Rivalries. Journal of Politics 74 (1):235–48.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Gandhi, Jennifer. 2008. Political Institutions Under Dictatorship. New York: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
Golden, Miriam. A., and Chang, Eric C.C.. 2001. Competitive Corruption: Factional Conflict and Political Malfeasance in Postwar Italian Christian Democracy. World Politics 53 (4):588622.Google Scholar
Gurr, Ted Robert 2000. People vs. States. Washington, DC: US Institute of Peace.Google Scholar
Hanmer, Michael J., and Kalkan, Kerem Ozan. 2013. Behind the Curve: Clarifying the Best Approach to Calculating Predicted Probabilities and Marginal Effects from Limited Dependent Variable Models. American Journal of Political Science 57 (1):263–77.Google Scholar
Horowitz, Michael. 2010. Nonstate Actors and the Diffusion of Innovations: The Case of Suicide Terrorism. International Organization 64 (1):3364.Google Scholar
Hourani, Albert. 1991. A History of the Arab Peoples. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
Hovil, Lucy, and Werker, Eric. 2005. Portrait of a Failed Rebellion: An Account of Rational, Sub-Optimal Violence in Western Uganda. Rationality and Society 17 (1):534.Google Scholar
Hurd, Ian. 2008. After Anarchy: Legitimacy and Power in the United Nations Security Council. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
Iannaccone, Laurence R., and Berman, Eli. 2006. Religious Extremism: The Good, The Bad, and the Deadly. Public Choice 128 (1–2):109–29.Google Scholar
Katzman, Kenneth. 2010. Iran: US Concerns and Policy Responses. Washington, DC: Congressional Research Service.Google Scholar
Keck, Margaret. E., and Sikkink, Kathryn. 1998. Activists Beyond Borders: Advocacy Networks in International Politics. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press.Google Scholar
Keck, Margaret. E., and Sikkink, Kathryn. 1999. Transnational Advocacy Networks in International and Regional Politics. International Social Science Journal 51 (159):89101.Google Scholar
Kepel, Gilles. 2003. Jihad: The Trail of Political Islam. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
King, Gary, and Zeng, Langche. 2001a. Explaining Rare Events in International Events. International Organization 55 (3):693715.Google Scholar
King, Gary, and Zeng, Langche. 2001b. Logistic Regression in Rare Events Data. Political Analysis 9 (2):137–63.Google Scholar
Koremenos, Barbara, Lipson, Charles, and Snidal, Duncan. 2001. The Rational Design of International Institutions. International Organization 55 (4):761–99.Google Scholar
Krain, Matthew. 2012. J'accuse! Does Naming and Shaming Perpetrators Reduce the Severity of Genocides or Politicides? International Studies Quarterly 56 (3):574–89.Google Scholar
Kydd, Andrew H., and Walter, Barbara F.. 2006. The Strategies of Terrorism. International Security 31 (1):4980.Google Scholar
LaFree, Gary, and Dugan, Laura. 2007. Introducing the Global Terrorism Database. Terrorism and Political Violence 19 (2):181204.Google Scholar
LaFree, Gary, Morris, Nancy A., and Dugan, Laura. 2010. Cross-National Patterns of Terrorism Comparing Trajectories for Total, Attributed and Fatal Attacks, 1970–2006. British Journal of Criminology 50 (4):622–49.Google Scholar
Levitsky, Steven, and Way, Lucan A.. 2010. Competitive Authoritarianism: Hybrid Regimes After the Cold War. New York: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
Levitt, Peggy, and de la Dehesa, Rafael. 2003. Transnational Migration and the Redefinition of the State: Variations and Explanations. Ethnic and Racial Studies 26 (4):587611.Google Scholar
Lichbach, Mark. 1995a. The 5% Rule. Rationality and Society 7 (1):126–28.Google Scholar
Lichbach, Mark. 1995b. The Rebel's Dilemma. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Lichbach, Mark. 1998. Contending Theories of Contentious Politics and the Structure-Action Problem of Social Order. Annual Review of Political Science 1:401–24.Google Scholar
Lickel, Brian, Miller, Norman, Stenstrom, Douglas M., Denson, Thomas F., and Schmader, Toni. 2006. Vicarious Retribution: The Role of Collective Blame in Intergroup Aggression. Personality and Social Psychology Review 10 (4):372–90.Google Scholar
Lipson, Michael. 2007. Peacekeeping: Organized Hypocrisy? European Journal of International Relations 13 (1):534.Google Scholar
Louër, Laurence. 2008. Transnational Shia Politics: Religious and Political Networks in the Gulf. New York: Columbia University Press.Google Scholar
Lust, Ellen. 2009. Competitive Clientelism in the Middle East. Journal of Democracy 20 (3):122–35.Google Scholar
Magaloni, Beatriz. 2006. Voting for Autocracy: Hegemonic Party Survival and Its Demise in Mexico. New York: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Mannes, Aaron, Michael, Mary, Pate, Amy, Silva, Amy, Subrahmanian, V.S., and Wilkenfeld, Jonathan. 2008. Stochastic Opponent Modeling Agents: A Case Study with Hezbollah. In Social Computing, Behavioral Modeling, and Prediction, edited by Liu, Huan, Salerno, John J., and Young, Michael J., 3745. New York: Springer.Google Scholar
March, James G., and Olsen, Johan P.. 1998. The Institutional Dynamics of International Political Orders. International Organization 52 (4):943–69.Google Scholar
McAdam, Doug. 1982. Political Process and the Development of Black Insurgency, 1930–1970. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
McAdam, Doug. 1996. The Framing Function of Movement Tactics: Strategic Dramaturgy in the American Civil Rights Movement. In Comparative Perspectives on Social Movements: Political Opportunities, Mobilizing Structures, and Cultural Framings, edited by McAdam, Doug, McCarthy, John D., and Zald, Mayer N., 338–56. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
McCarthy, John D., and Zald, Mayer. 1973. The Trend of Social Movements in America: Professionalization and Resource Mobilization. Morristown, NJ: General Learning Press.Google Scholar
McCarthy, John D., and Zald, Mayer. 1977. Resource Mobilization and Social Movements: A Partial Theory. American Journal of Sociology 82 (6):1212–41.Google Scholar
Meyer, David S. 2004. Protest and Political Opportunities. Annual Review of Sociology 30:125–45.Google Scholar
Meyer, David S., and Staggenborg, Suzanne. 1996. Movements, Countermovements, and the Structure of Political Opportunity. American Journal of Sociology 101 (6):1628–60.Google Scholar
Meyer, David S., and Minkoff, Debra C.. 2004. Conceptualizing Political Opportunity. Social Forces 82 (4):1457–92.Google Scholar
Mickolus, Edward F., Sandler, Todd, Murdock, Jean M., and Flemming, Peter A.. 2004. International Terrorism: Attributes of Terrorist Events, 1968–2004 (ITERATE 3-4). Dunn Loring, VA: Vinyard Software.Google Scholar
Mietzner, Marcus. 2007. Party Financing in Post-Soeharto Indonesia: Between State Subsidies and Political Corruption. Contemporary Southeast Asia 29 (2):238–63.Google Scholar
Mihr, Anja, and Peter Schmitz, Hans. 2007. Human Rights Education (HRE) and Transnational Activism. Human Rights Quarterly 29 (4):973–93.Google Scholar
Minorities at Risk Project. 2009. Minorities at Risk Dataset. College Park, MD: Center for International Development and Conflict Management. Available at <>. Accessed 1 July 2012..+Accessed+1+July+2012.>Google Scholar
Murdie, Amanda, and Bhasin, Tavishi. 2011. Aiding and Abetting: Human Rights INGOs and Domestic Protest. Journal of Conflict Resolution 55 (2):163–91.Google Scholar
National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START). 2011. Global Terrorism Database. College Park: University of Maryland. Available at <>. Accessed 14 March 2014..+Accessed+14+March+2014.>Google Scholar
Norton, Augustus R. 2009. Hezbollah: A Short History. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
Olson, Mancur. 1965. The Logic of Collective Action: Public Goods and the Theory of Groups. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
Paris, Roland. 2003. Peacekeeping and the Constraints of Global Culture. European Journal of International Relations 9 (3):441–73.Google Scholar
Pearlman, Wendy. 2011. Violence, Nonviolence, and the Palestinian National Movement. New York: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
Piazza, James A. 2006. Rooted in Poverty?: Terrorism, Poor Economic Development, and Social Cleavages. Terrorism and Political Violence 18 (1):159–77.Google Scholar
Poloni-Staudinger, Lori M. 2008. The Domestic Opportunity Structure and Supranational Activity: An Explanation of Environmental Group Activity at the European Union Level. European Union Politics 9 (4):531–58.Google Scholar
Posen, Barry. 1993. The Security Dilemma and Ethnic Conflict. Survival 35 (1):2747.Google Scholar
Posner, Daniel N. 2005. Institutions and Ethnic Politics in Africa. New York: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
Regan, Patrick. 2000. Civil Wars and Foreign Powers: Outside Interventions and Intrastate Conflict. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.Google Scholar
Regan, Patrick. 2002. Third-Party Interventions and the Duration of Intrastate Conflicts. Journal of Conflict Resolution 46 (1):5573.Google Scholar
Regan, Patrick, and Norton, Daniel. 2005. Greed, Grievance, and Mobilization in Civil Wars. Journal of Conflict Resolution 49 (3):319–36.Google Scholar
Saideman, Stephen M. 2001. The Ties That Divide: Ethnic Politics, Foreign Policy, and International Conflict. New York: Columbia University Press.Google Scholar
Saideman, Stephen M. 2002. Discrimination in International Relations: Analyzing External Support for Ethnic Groups. Journal of Peace Research 39 (1):2750.Google Scholar
Saideman, Stephen M., Lanoue, David J., Campenni, Michael, and Stanton, Samuel. 2002. Democratization, Political Institutions, and Ethnic Conflict: A Pooled Time-Series Analysis, 1985–1998. Comparative Political Studies 35 (1):103–29.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Salehyan, Idean. 2007. Transnational Rebels: Neighboring States as Sanctuary for Rebel Groups. World Politics 59 (2):217–42.Google Scholar
Salehyan, Idean. 2009. Rebels Without Borders. Transnational Insurgencies in World Politics. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press.Google Scholar
Salehyan, Idean, Skrede Gleditsch, Kristian, and Cunningham, David. 2011. Explaining External Support for Insurgent Groups. International Organization 65 (4):709–44.Google Scholar
Schmitz, Hans Peter. 1999. Transnational Activism and Political Change in Kenya and Uganda. In The Power of Human Rights: International Norms and Domestic Change, edited by Risse, Thomas, Ropp, Stephen C., and Sikkink, Kathryn, 3977. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
Shain, Yossi, and Barth, Aharon. 2003. Diasporas and International Relations Theory. International Organization 57 (3):449–79.Google Scholar
Sheffer, Gabriel. 1994. Ethno-National Diasporas and Security. Survival 36 (1):6079.Google Scholar
Sheffer, Gabriel. 2003. Diaspora Politics: At Home Abroad. New York: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
Sheffer, Gabriel. 2006. Diasporas and Terrorism. In The Roots of Terrorism, edited by Richardson, Louise, 117–32. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
Snow, David A., and Benford, Robert D.. 1988. Ideology, Frame Resonance, and Participant Mobilization. International Social Movement Research 1 (1):197217.Google Scholar
Stork, Joe. 1997. Bahrain: Routine Abuse, Routine Denial: Civil Rights and the Political Crisis in Bahrain. Washington, DC: Human Rights Watch.Google Scholar
Sussman, Gerald, and Galizio, Lawrence. 2003. The Global Reproduction of American Politics. Political Communication 20 (3):309–28.Google Scholar
Tarrow, Sidney. 1994. Power in Movement: Social Movements and Contentious Politics. New York: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
Tarrow, Sidney. 1998. Power in Movement: Social Movements and Contentious Politics. 2nd ed. New York: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
Tarrow, Sidney. 2001. Transnational Politics: Contention and Institutions in International Politics. Annual Reviews of Political Science 4:120.Google Scholar
Tarrow, Sidney. 2005. The New Transnational Activism: Movements, States, and International Institutions. New York: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
Tilly, Charles. 1978. From Mobilization to Revolution. Reading, MA: Addison Wesley.Google Scholar
Tilly, Charles. 2003. The Politics of Collective Violence. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
Toft, Monica Duffy. 2003. The Geography of Ethnic Violence. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
Walsh, James I., and Piazza, James A.. 2010. Why Respecting Physical Integrity Rights Reduces Terrorism. Comparative Political Studies 43 (5):551–77.Google Scholar
Walter, Barbara F. 2009. Reputation and Civil War: Why Separatist Conflicts Are So Violent. New York: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
Wayland, Sarah. 2004. Ethnonationalist Networks and Transnational Opportunities: The Sri Lankan Tamil Diaspora. Review of International Studies 30 (3):405–26.Google Scholar
Weinstein, Jeremy. 2006. Inside Rebellion: The Politics of Insurgent Violence. New York: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar