Victim of success: American dominance and terrorism

David Sobek, Alex Braithwaite

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


While terrorist attacks against American interests represent an important topic, few studies use international relations theory and a rigorous statistical methodology to examine their occurrence. In recognition of these shortcomings, this paper hypothesizes and tests a simple yet powerful relationship: as American dominance of the international system increases, the number of attacks against its interests will also rise. This relationship exists because American dominance leaves little room for revisionist actors to alter the status quo through conventional means, which makes terrorist methods an increasingly likely choice. Using ARIMA modeling techniques on a data set that spans from 1968-1996, we gain confirmation that increasing levels of American dominance are positively correlated with large numbers of attacks against American interests.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)135-148
Number of pages14
JournalConflict Management and Peace Science
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2005


  • American dominance
  • Terrorism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Political Science and International Relations


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