Western professor speaks on terrorism in Asia and Africa

Politics World

Assistant professor of government Dan Cox, who gave a presentation last Tuesday on the causes of terrorism in Asia and Africa, believes that most research done on terrorism has a narrow spectrum.

Dr. Dan CoxWhen the subject of terrorism is brought up, the common focus is on the Middle East. Cox took researching terrorism a little further and expanded the focus to 76 nations in Asia and Africa in the last 29 years. Cox’s research touches on all of the nations in Asia and Africa besides those with a population fewer than 1 million or completely closed societies such as North Korea.

His research is not just for recreation. Cox is co-authoring a book provisionally titled, “Terrorism and Instability in Asia and Africa” with Maj. Brian Stackhouse, a military science instructor at Western, and Dr. John Falconer of the University of Nebraska-Kearney.

“We’ve always been interested in political violence and what causes violence,” Cox said of his decision to perform his research.

There is a popular belief that democratic countries are less likely to experience terrorism, considering that two democratic nations haven’t engaged in war since the War of 1812. However, Cox’s research shows that democratic societies’ chances are slightly higher. Japan, a democratic entity, has an average of 3.3 incidents of domestic terrorism per year, whereas China, with a communist government, experiences only 1.33.

Some interesting findings were that if a country has two or less religions or ethnicities, the probability of terrorism is greatly increased.

Michelle Dittemore, a student looking for a degree in nursing, was in attendance for the revealing of Cox’s findings.

“I found it interesting; I didn’t realize there was that much terrorism in Asia and Africa,” Dittemore said.

India has the most recorded number of domestic terrorism in the last 29 years, reaching 303. Pakistan, a nation that Dr. Cox said is more of a danger to the U.S. than Iran, has experienced 188 incidents of international terrorism and 273 incidents of domestic terrorism in the last 29 years.

Cox’s presentation last Tuesday was part of the university’s lecture series of faculty members who received research grants last summer from the Western Institute.

Cox said that the major cost of the grant was paying students to labor over the data sets. Not all of the data was free of charge either.

The book is an academic book, but Cox would like for his findings to open the eyes of some people in Washington. Eventually, Cox would like to expand his research and examine the terrorism throughout the entire world.

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