Author Biography

John Sautter, Ph.D., is an adjunct professor at Green Mountain College, Poultney, Vermont, and a Captain in the United States Marine Corps. His qualifications include: B.A., New York University, 2001; M.A., University of Nebraska, 2002; Ph.D., University of Nebraska, 2005; J.D. Vermont Law School, 2008; L.L.M. Vermont Law School 2009. The views herein should not be attributed to any of the author's institutional affiliates. The author can be contacted at: jas276@nyu.edu.



Subject Area Keywords

Conflict studies, Democracy and democatization, Homeland security, Methodology, Political violence, Terrorism / counterterrorism


Much of the debate surrounding contemporary studies of terrorism focuses upon transnational terrorism. However, historical and contemporary evidence suggests that domestic terrorism is a more prevalent and pressing concern. A formal microeconomic model of terrorism is utilized here to understand acts of political violence in a domestic context within the domain of democratic governance.This article builds a very basic microeconomic model of terrorist decision making to hypothesize how a democratic government might influence the sorts of strategies that terrorists use. Mathematical models have been used to explain terrorist behavior in the past. However, the bulk of inquires in this area have only focused on the relationship between terrorists and the government, or amongst terrorists themselves. Central to the interpretation of the terrorist conflict presented here is the idea that voters (or citizens) are also one of the important determinants of how a government will respond to acts of terrorism.