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This dissertation draws attention to the interaction between insurgents and the target state as the appropriate context for explaining the motivations of suicide bombers, the rationales of the organizations that support them, and the popularity in certain societies of suicide bombing. Based mainly on data collected from 88 interviews conducted in 2006 with senior leaders of six Palestinian political organizations and close relatives and friends of a 25 percent representative sample of Palestinian suicide bombers during the second intifada, it demonstrates the following: (1) During the second intifada, changes in the political opportunity structure, especially extreme state repression, were chiefly responsible for growing public support for suicide bombing, the development of organizational rationales justifying suicide bombing, and the...
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