General Causes of Terrorism: High Population Growth in Problematic Society

38 Pages Posted: 14 Apr 2017 Last revised: 15 Apr 2017

See all articles by Mario Coccia

Mario Coccia

National Research Council of Italy (CNR)

Date Written: April 11, 2017


A fundamental problem in social and political sciences is how to explain the root causes of terrorism. The vast literature has analyzed several determinants of terrorism. However, the precise role of demographic factors for the origin and evolution of terrorism in specific geoeconomic areas is hardly known. Results here show that population growth of the Middle East seems to be basic for the source and evolution of terrorism. This study found that terrorism thrives in specific cultural zones with high growth rates of population combined with collective identity factors and low socioeconomic development. In particular, the finding here shows that the high growth rates of population in the Middle East, combined with acute environmental and socioeconomic stressors, can lead to cultural deviance, frustration and anger of individuals, and terrorism as a result. Overall, then, the main aim of this study is to clarify and generalize whenever possible, the demographic source of the terrorism and suggest appropriate socioeconomic policies of conflict resolution directed to preempt this critical problem in society over the long run.

Keywords: Terrorism; Population Growth; Fertility Rate; Muslim Religion; Poverty; Violent Crime; Middle East; Conflict Resolution

JEL Classification: I30; I24; N35; Q56; Z12

Suggested Citation

Coccia, Mario, General Causes of Terrorism: High Population Growth in Problematic Society (April 11, 2017). Available at SSRN: or

Mario Coccia (Contact Author)

National Research Council of Italy (CNR) ( email )

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Roma, 00185
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