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Trojan Horse, Copycat, or Scapegoat? Unpacking the Refugees-Terrorism Nexus

Polo, Sara MT and Wucherpfennig, Julian (2022) 'Trojan Horse, Copycat, or Scapegoat? Unpacking the Refugees-Terrorism Nexus.' The Journal of Politics, 84 (1). pp. 33-49. ISSN 0022-3816

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Widespread fear that hosting refugees will mean more terrorism in host states is at theheart of the ‘refugee crisis’. Yet, we lack rigorous evidence for such claims. This articletheoretically unpacks how and under what conditions transnational refugee movementsplausibly lead to different types of terrorist outcomes. Combining original data witha multi-pronged approach involving a treatment-placebo design as well as instrumentalvariable estimation, we provide systematic and robust evidence that sheds new light onthe security implications of transnational forced migration. Our findings challenge theclaim that hosting refugees heightens the risk of “importing” terrorist attacks againstnationals of host countries, especially in developed countries. However, in these coun-tries refugees themselves are particularly prone to becoming the targets of retaliatoryterrorist attacks by natives, driven by fear. Dominant policy responses to the refugeecrisis that raise fears and suspicions are therefore not only ill-suited, but potentiallycounterproductive.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: refugees, transnational forced migration, terrorism, counterterrorism, diffusion,instrumental variable, causal inference
Divisions: Faculty of Social Sciences
Faculty of Social Sciences > Government, Department of
SWORD Depositor: Elements
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 04 Jan 2021 10:31
Last Modified: 20 Apr 2022 01:00

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