Combating militant violence-particularly within South Asia
and the Middle East-stands at the top of the international security agenda.
Despite the extensive literature on the determinants of political attitudes,
little is known about who supports militant organizations and why. To address
this gap we conducted a 6000-person, nationally-representative survey of
Pakistanis that measures affect towards four important militant organizations.
We apply a novel measurement strategy to mitigate social desirability bias and
item non-response, which plagued previous surveys due to the sensitive nature of
militancy. Our study reveals key patterns of support for militancy. First,
Pakistanis exhibit negative affect toward all four militant organizations, with
those from areas where groups have been most active disliking them the most.
Second, personal religiosity does not predict support, although views about
what constitutes jihad do. Third, wealthy Pakistanis and those who support core
democratic rights are more supportive of militant organizations than others.
Longstanding arguments tying support for violent political organizations to
individuals' economic prospects or attitudes towards democracy-and the
subsequent policy recommendations-may require substantial revision.
Jacob N. Shapiro is Assistant Professor of Politics and International
Affairs at Princeton University. His primary research interests are the
organizational aspects of terrorism, insurgency, and security policy.
Shapiro’s ongoing projects study the causes of support for militancy in
Islamic countries and the relationship between aid and political
violence. His research has been published in International Security, International Studies Quarterly, Foreign Policy, Military Operations Research,
and a number of edited volumes. Shapiro co-directs the Empirical
Studies of Conflict Project. He is a member of the editorial board of World Politics,
is a former Harmony Fellow at the Combating Terrorism Center at the
United States Military Academy, and served in the U.S. Navy and Naval
Reserve. Ph.D. Political Science, M.A. Economics, Stanford University.
B.A. Political Science, University of Michigan.
Jon Krosnick received a B.A. degree in psychology from
Harvard University and M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in social psychology from the
University of Michigan.
Prior to joining the Stanford
faculty in 2004, Dr. Krosnick was professor of psychology and political science
at Ohio State University, where he was a member of the OSU Political Psychology
Program and co-directed the OSU Summer Institute in Political Psychology.
He has taught courses on survey
methodology around the world at universities, for corporations, and for
government agencies, including at IBM, Pfizer, the National Opinion Research
Center, RTI International, the White House Office of Management and Budget,
Total Research Corporation, the American Society of Trial Consultants, the
National Science Foundation, the U.S. General Accounting Office, the Office for
National Statistics, London, UK, the London School of Economics and Political
Science, the University of Amsterdam, the University of Johannesburg, the
Australian Market and Social Research Society's Professional Development
Program, and ZUMA (in Mannheim, Germany). He has provided expert testimony in
court and has served as an on-air election-night television commentator.
Dr. Krosnick has served as a
consultant to such organizations as Pfizer Pharmaceuticals, the CBS Office of
Social Research, ABC News, the National Institutes of Health, Home Box Office,
NASA, the U.S. Bureau of the Census, the Internal Revenue Service, the National
Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the Environmental Protection Agency,
the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the U.S. Government Accountability Office,
the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Cancer Institute,
From 2005 through 2009, he is
Principal Investigator of the American National Election Studies.