Female Survival Calculations in Politically Violent Settings

How Political Violence and Terrorism Are Viewed as Pathways to Life

Published in: Studies in conflict and terrorism, v. 32, no. 7, July 2009, p. 561-575

Posted on RAND.org on January 01, 2009

by Karla J. Cunningham

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Evolutionary theory's utility for the study of political phenomena, including war and nationalism, has been demonstrated. However, these studies fail to explain substate violence, including terrorism, and rarely evaluate whether cost-benefit analyses differ for males and females. This article seeks to demonstrate that evolutionary theory provides intriguing insights into two phenomena that observers find difficult to understand: political violence, including terrorism and self-sacrifice in the form of suicide attacks, and female political violence.

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