Please join us for the first Spatial Technology Lunch of Fall Quarter on Thursday, October 23,  from 12:00-1:00 pm in Phelps Hall room 3512. This semi-regular series, hosted by spatial@ucsb, aims to promote discussion and interaction within the university’s spatial technology community.

Visiting scholar Yasutaka ‘Tomi’ Tominaga will discuss his research on the strategy of targeted killing and capturing of group leaders on terrorist activities. Tomi is a doctoral student at Osaka University in Japan and focuses on security studies, including topics such as terrorism, maritime piracy and civil wars. He also focuses on political methodology, specifically spatial econometrics. See below for Tomi’s full abstract.

Feel free to invite interested friends and colleagues. Pizza and drinks will be served. Please RSVP to Kitty Currier by Tuesday, October 21.

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Removing Terrorist Group Leaders:
Diffusion of Impact of Targeted Killing and Capturing

Yasutaka Tominaga

Osaka University, Japan

Abstract: Using data on 180 terrorist groups from 1970 to 2008, this study assesses the diffusion effect of the decapitation strategy of target killing and capturing terrorist group leaders on terrorist activities. Current findings of extant literature on the effect of the decapitation strategy are indeterminate, arguing that it acts as a deterrent, causes disruption, and results in a backlash effect, partly because these studies fail to take into account the cross-sectional correlation among terrorist groups, such as spatial auto-correlation and social networks. Spatial econometrics literature has clarified that lacking the consideration of these correlation biases the result estimation. This study utilizes a spatial econometrics method, the Spatially Lagged Explanatory model (SLX), and analyzes the direct effect and the diffusion effect of the decapitation strategy. For the estimation, I identify the group location based on a geographical information system (GIS) under certain assumptions, and use difference-in-differences techniques.