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THE IRRATIONAL FEAR OF TERRORISM REGARDING MIGRANTS FROM CONFLICT ZONES

scrutiny. For one, other variables are effective at explaining terrorism. Second, the direction of terrorism trends is not known. The GTD database records hate crimes against immigrants as terrorism, and as such, it is plausible that hate crimes against refugees are carried out in host countries due to racism or xenophobia. As a result, an increase in new refugees may be correlated with an increase in hate crimes. Refugees would be the recipients of violence rather than the cause. Other interesting variables include armed conflict and terrorist history, as both are positive and significant in models 6 and 7. This suggests I can reject hypotheses 4 and 5 as null. The effect of armed conflict and terrorism history together suggest that terrorism targets specific countries. This supports aforementioned theories that argue terrorist focus is strategic in its country-level targets. As for the hypotheses dealing with state capacities, the results of the regression analysis are not compelling. Log GDP per capita in the tests was intended to capture both the quality of a country’s economy as well as its resemblance to an advanced global economy. Even though log GDP per capita is negative, it is not significant, so I cannot reject Hypotheses 1 or 3 as null. Furthermore, it is interesting that in models 7 and 8 the measure of democracy is both negative and positive, but the result is not significant. Therefore, as I previously argued, the attributes of state capacities have certain terrorist abating and amplifying qualities that mystify the correlation of economic development or political stability. Another interesting result is that the control variable for time (Year) suggests that terrorism has increased overall from 2010 to 2015. Conclusion This paper set out to find any possible causal process or link between numbers of refugees and the number of terrorism incidents in host countries. The data analysis reveals a weak link between asylum seekers, migrants, or refugees and the threat of terrorism to neighboring countries (or more developed countries without similar geographic proximity). Indeed, the analysis found other variables better explain the number of terrorism incidents, and refugees may actually be the target of violence as opposed to the source. The aforementioned analysis of border countries to the Syrian conflict suggests there is no clear causal process by which refugees increase the number of terrorist incidents in a host country. State capacities, geographic proximity, and state or regime characteristics influence the threat of terrorism to a particular country as well as whether a country is engaged in armed conflict. Geography does not automatically increase the risk of terrorism, rather, the case study of Syria shows that geography does not as efficiently predict terrorism incidents as the quality of state capacities. Countries with weak capacities (and countries with weak capacities that are situated close to conflict zones) that are perceived as having targeted regime types are at the greatest risk of terrorism. Rather than looking to migrants for explaining the spread of terrorism across borders, spillover conflict can weaken state capacities and make a state more perceptible to the threats of terrorism. Foreign fighters may cross borders for nefarious reasons and give the appearance of refugees or migrants causing terrorism. Despite the limited role migration from conflict zones has in the threat of terrorism, countries should take precautions to ensure that refugees and migrants do not wear down their state capacities. However, banning or preventing the refuge or settlement of migrants escaping

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Anthony Calacino

conflict does not automatically mean state capacities are sufficient enough to deter threats of terrorism. Banning resettlement does not change the aspects or ideologies that may cause a country to be a target in the first place. Banning migrants certainly does not change a country’s geographic risk. Countries and international communities should engender state capacities in order to deter the threat of terrorism while simultaneously hosting more migrants and refugees from conflict zones in accordance with UNHCR guidelines. In addition, the empirical evidence suggests that involvement in armed conflict should be scrutinized since it appears to engender the risk of terrorism. However, it is outside the scope of this analysis to understand how specific policies for involvement in conflict affect the risk of terrorism. Future studies should expand the number of countries covered in the statistical analysis and investigate other individual countries for varied case analyses. Scholars should more closely examine the specific mechanisms by which state capacities bring about a reduction in the threat of terrorism, with a specific emphasis on what types, how much, and what effects U.S. military and non-military aid has on the state capacities and reductions in the threat of terrorism. Future studies should test the interaction between economic development and democracy on the independent variable of terrorism incidents. It would be interesting to expand the range of years analyzed to the extent possible. The inclusion of ongoing conflicts in quantitative analysis would further shed light on patterns of terrorism following ethnic and civil war. References Afanasieva, D. (2014, May 5). Turkey builds wall in token effort to secure border with Syria. Retrieved August 1, 2016, from Reuters: http://www. reuters.com/article/us-syria-crisis- turkey-wall-idUSBREA4409Z20140505 Ammon News. (2016, 8 8). 4000 Retrieved 9 9, 2016, from Ammon News: http://www.ammonnews.net/article/277692 Amnesty International. (2016, February 3). Syria’s refugee crisis in numbers. Retrieved August 11, 2016, from Amnesty International: https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2016/02/syriasrefugee-crisis-in-numbers/ Arkin, W. M. (2016, February 24). The Great Wall of Jordan: How the US Wants to Keep the Islamic State Out. Vice News. Bapat, N. A. (2011). Transnational terrorism, US military aid, and the incentive to misrepresent. Journal of Peace Research, 303-318. Belarouci, L. (2009). Islamism: The process of identity formation. In B. S. Jacuch, Home-grown Terrorism: Understanding and Addressing the Root Causes of Radicalisation Among Groups with an Immigrant Heritage in Europe (Vol. 60, pp. 3-17). Amsterdam: NATO . Boutton, A., & Carter, D. B. (2013). Fair-Weather Allies? Terrorism and the Allocation of US Foreign Aid. Journal of Conflict Resolution, 1144-1173. Braithwaite, A. (2010). Resisting infection: How state capacity conditions conflict contagion . Journal of Peace Research, 47(3), 311-319. Carmignani, F., & Kler, P. (2015). Surrounded by wars: Quantifying the role of spatial conflict spillovers. Economic Analysis and Policy, 7-16.

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Hinckley Journal 2017  

The Hinckley Journal of Politics is the only undergraduate-run journal of politics in the nation and strives to publish scholarly papers of...

Hinckley Journal 2017  

The Hinckley Journal of Politics is the only undergraduate-run journal of politics in the nation and strives to publish scholarly papers of...

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