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Pushing the Prize Up, A Few Notes on Al-Qaeda's Reward Structure and the Choice of Casualties

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Author(s): Raul CAruso | Andra Locatelli

Journal: Crossroads
ISSN 1825-7208

Volume: 4;
Issue: 2;
Start page: 3;
Date: 2004;
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Keywords: Terrorism | microeconomic theory | prize | contest

ABSTRACT
The article aims at suggesting possible conjectures on Al-Qaeda's logic and structure. Even if the organization's secrecy makes any empirical evidence difficult to find, some insight can be provided by economic theory of contests: in this terms, Al-Qaeda can be acknowledged like an agent rewarding a prize (membership) to its clients (cells and would-be cells). Although this principle makes the organization hardly visible and virtually impenetrable, we contend that in the long term such a logic is non-sustainable.

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