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The Political Consequences of Terrorism: Terror Events, Casualties, and Government Duration


  • The authors wish to thank Daina Chiba and Joseph Young for his helpful comments and suggestions. We also thank Jonathan Martin and Tyson Meredith for their research assistance. Replication materials and robustness checks can be found on


How does transnational terrorism affect the stability of parliamentary governments? Does terrorism cause some governments to fail prematurely and/or does it enhance the probability that some governments will stay in office longer than they otherwise would? Using a duration model on a sample of 18 advanced parliamentary democracies between the late-1960s and 2003, we find that terrorism exacerbates the likelihood of government failure for some governments but not others. Our principal finding is that right-oriented governments are able to keep their hold on power more than left-wing governments when confronted with transnational terrorism.