Talk: “Terrorism and the Fate of Dictators” by Dr. Deniz Aksoy & Dr. David B. Carter, Princeton University, A-130, 10:30 AM February 4 (EN)

Talk: “Terrorism and the Fate of Dictators” by Dr. Deniz Aksoy, Associate Research Scholar, Department of Politics, Princeton University ( & Dr. David B. Carter, Assistant Professor, Department of Politics, Princeton University (

Thursday, February 4, 10:30 a.m.
A-130 (Seminar Room), FEASS Building

We study the influence of terrorism on incumbent dictators. The vast majority of empirical work on terrorism suggests that dictatorships are relatively “safe” from terrorism. However, recent work demonstrates that not all dictators are relatively unlikely to experience significant amounts of terrorism. Despite evidence that some dictators experience significant amounts of terrorist violence, little work explores the influence that terrorist campaigns have on dictators. We outline several competing ideas about how experiencing terrorism can be helpful or harmful to dictators. We show that terrorist incidents influence the likelihood of successful military coups, which remove the incumbent dictators from the office. However, terrorism is only associated with coups that “shuffle” the leadership but leave the regime intact, and is not associated with more severe “regime change” coups.

Short Bios:
David Carter is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Politics at Princeton University. His research focuses on international relations and explores territoriality and conflict, the role violent non-state actors such as terrorist and insurgent groups play in international relations, and the use of foreign aid as a policy tool, among other topics. He has several publications in journals such as American Political Science Review, International Organization, American Journal of Political Science, World Politics, Journal of Politics, British Journal of Political Science, International Studies Quarterly, Political Analysis and Journal of Conflict Resolution.

Deniz Aksoy is an Associate Research Scholar in the Department of Politics at Princeton University. She holds a Ph. D. in political science from the University of Rochester. Her primary research interests are in the field of comparative politics, with a focus on political institutions and political violence. Her work has been published in several journals including World Politics, American Journal of Political Science, Journal of Politics and British Journal of Political Science.