Contests & Conflict | 07/12/2023 | 06:00 PM
Do Failed or Weak States Favor Resident Terrorist Groups’ Survival?

Speaker: Todd Sandler

Date & Time: Los Angeles (9 am), Cincinnati (12 pm), Bath (5 pm), Munich (6 pm), Beijing (July 13, 12 am), Singapore (July 13, 12 am), Sydney (July 13, 2 am)

Todd Sandler will present the paper titled "Do Failed or Weak States Favor Resident Terrorist Groups’ Survival?" (joint work with Khusrav Gaibulloev and James A. Piazza).

This talk is part of the Global Seminar on Contests & Conflict, an online seminar series with researchers from across the world. You can sign up to the Global Network to get information and invitations (including the Zoom Link for each event) about the Global Seminar hereMax-Planck-Institut für Steuerrecht und Öffentliche Finanzen: Global Seminar on Contests & Conflict (

You can directly access the event here:


Abstract of the Paper:
Employing two alternative measures of state failure, we investigate how state weakness influences resident terrorist groups’ survival.  Theoretically, state failure favors resident terrorist groups’ survival, while state territorial control fosters resident groups’ termination until some control threshold.  Empirically, we uncover a robust negative relationship between a country’s weakness and its control of terrorism through the lens of the resident terrorist groups’ survival prospects.  The discovered relationship withstands a host of robustness tests – e.g., alternative estimates and samples.  We apply an instrument designed to address endogeneity concerns.  In particular, our novel instrument for failed states consists of the interaction between natural disasters and ethnic fractionalization.  As a state’s percentage of territorial control increases, resident terrorist groups are more prone to ending until some threshold control percent. Our analysis can guide counterterrorism policy by exploiting the nuanced theoretical determinants identified here that foster resident groups’ termination in failing states.

Chair: Subhasish Chowdhury, Co-Chair: Kai A. Konrad

Contact Person

Event Team

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