From parliamentarianism to terrorism and back again



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What are the conditions under which terrorist groups turn to party politics? Under what conditions do political parties turn to terrorism? What types of political groups are more likely to turn to or from terrorism? Answers to these questions provide new insights into explanations for the formation of linkages between political parties and terrorist groups. While political parties and terrorist groups are often differentiated by the tactics they employ, empirical evidence shows that these political groups sometimes shift tactics, making use of violent and nonviolent tactics either concurrently or consecutively. Shifts between violent and nonviolent tactics occur when a political party supports, creates, or becomes a terrorist group and when a terrorist group supports, creates, or becomes a political party. Cases in which terrorist groups turn to party politics have been addressed in the literature, most often in the form of case studies. Less attention has been paid to the more numerous cases of political parties forming linkages with terrorist groups. Both types of tactical shifts are under-studied and under-theorized. This dissertation fills a gap in the largely separate literatures on political parties and terrorism through an analysis of international-, state-, and group-level factors associated with the formation of party-terror linkages and a discussion of the implications of these factors for the construction of a more general theory of political group adaptation.