Enhancing education policy in the Middle East and South Asia : an investment in terrorism prevention or an inefficient use of counterterrorism resources?
Thesis (M.P.P.)--Georgetown University, 2010.; Includes bibliographical references.; Text (Electronic thesis) in PDF format. Policymakers commonly believe that education is a key to curbing terrorist activity. However, previous academic research shows that this may not the case. This thesis examines the effects of education, particularly female education, on terrorism. Specifically, it looks at the relationship between various educational variables and the number of terrorist attacks in Middle Eastern and South Asian countries during the time period 1999-2007. I hypothesize that, like previous multivariate regression research such as the work of Claude Berrebi (2007), Ethan Bueno de Mesquita (2005) and Alan Krueger and Jitka Malenkova (2003), I will find that education will not lead to decreases in terrorist attacks. In addition, I also theorize that gender parity in education decreases the number of terrorist acts. This thesis uses time-series, panel data to run tobit regressions on six models in order to establish the relationship between education and terrorist attacks. The first model lacks an educational variable and then each of the following five models are run with a different educational variable, such as literacy rate, primary completion rate and the ratio of girls to boys in primary and secondary education. Unlike, my hypothesis, in each model the educational variable is found to be statistically significant. Furthermore, increasing female education alone results in decreases of terrorist attacks, though it is does not do so in a manner greater than increasing male education. Consequently, policymakers should continue to promote investment in education when implementing policies to combat terrorism. The long-run gains for education will be part of the antidote to extremist violence.
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