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Testing the Role Effect in Terrorist Negotiations

by Jeff Thompson
January 2016

Crisis Negotiator Blog by Jeff Thompson

Jeff Thompson

Here's another great academic paper from Paul J. Taylor. This time he teamed with William Donohue (another great researcher/academic) to write Testing the Role Effect in Terrorist Negotiations(International Negotiation, 8, 527-547). . 

Some important snippets and findings from the article:

  •  Religious fundamentalists showed greater levels of aggressive strategies than both nationalist-separatist and social revolutionary terrorists
  • Consistent with predictions, the data presented in Table 2 indicate that the use of power and affiliation behaviors by terrorists have quite different associations with the degree that authorities capitulate. Of the power-orientated strategies, violently controlling hostages, damaging the building or aircraft, and extensively using weapons were all associated with lower levels of concessions from the authorities. The exception to this trend was the correlation for the Demand scale, which suggested a positive relationship between making more demands and concessions by the authorities. 
  • Regarding the prominence of role identity, when compared to nationalist-separatists and social-revolutionaries, the terrorists with a religious ideology typically used more aggressive strategies
  • Religious terrorists engaged in very little affiliative behavior compared to nationalist-separatists and social-revolutionaries. This unwillingness to engage in normative interaction illustrates the religious terrorist’s lack of interdependence with the system they are attacking and their determination to achieve a set of goals without giving consideration to alternatives (Silke 2003). 
  • Perhaps the most significant implication of these findings is... when the lower-power party (i.e. the terrorist) engaged in extreme aggression, the higher-powered authorities quickly reciprocated with tactical attempts to resolve the dispute.
I encourage you to read the full article [HERE].

Biography


Jeff Thompson, Ph.D., is a professor at Lipscomb University, researcher, mediator, and trainer. He is also involved in crisis and hostage negotiation as well as a law enforcement detective. His research includes law enforcement crisis and hostage negotiation in terrorist incidents. He received his doctorate from Griffith University Law School having researched the impact nonverbal communication has in conflict situations with respect to developing rapport, building trust, and displaying professionalism.

Dr. Thompson has presented and trained on the topic of conflict, mediation, (crisis and hostage) negotiation, communication and nonverbal communication internationally for a variety of audiences including police personnel, government officials, judges, attorneys, physicians, sales people, business professionals, and both graduate and undergraduate students. He has also been published in numerous professional and academic publications.

He is the co-chair of ACR's national Crisis Negotiation Section, and he is an ad-hoc reviewer for multiple academic journals. He received his MS in Negotiation and Dispute Resolution from the Werner Institute, Creighton University School of Law.

(All posts by Jeff Thompson represent his personal reflections and opinions and not that of any organization.)



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