Graduation Year

Spring 2013

Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


International Relations

Reader 1

Roderic Ai Camp

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Terms of Use for work posted in Scholarship@Claremont.

Rights Information

© 2013 Julia Bard


In order to analyze the potential of a relationship between terrorist groups and state violence, this paper analyzes two case studies from Latin America - that of Sendero Luminoso, in Peru, and the Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia (the FARC), in Colombia – and two cases from the Middle East and North Africa – that of al-Jama’a al-Islamiyya in Egypt and Muqtada al-Sadr’s Mehdi Army in Iraq. After a review of the cases and general literature on regime violence and terrorism around the world, this paper proposes a likely correlation between an increase in state violence and an escalation in the use of terrorism. The paper proposes that this correlation occurs because state violence inspires feelings of revenge among opposition groups and citizens, increases the popularity of guerrillas, decreases the popularity and legitimacy of the state, and promotes the perception that violence is both an acceptable political tool and the only option for opposition groups seeking a political voice. The findings of this study indicate that policy makers should reconsider their use of violent, repressive responses to political opposition, and should refrain from “fighting fire with fire” in order to take steps towards the eradication of terrorism around the world.

This thesis is restricted to the Claremont Colleges current faculty, students, and staff.