Date of Submission


Date of Award


Institute Name (Publisher)

Indian Statistical Institute

Document Type

Doctoral Thesis

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Subject Name

Computer Science


Economic Research Unit (ERU-Kolkata)


Kabiraj, Tarun (ERU-Kolkata; ISI)

Abstract (Summary of the Work)

Microeconomic concepts are often applied to analyze the phenomenon of terrorism, and gametheoretic frameworks are commonly applied throughout the existing literature. This is unsurprising, since real-world scenarios involving strategic interactions are best formulated using game theory because such formulations not only provide deep insights into the web of incentives and disincentives within which each player operates and consequent predictive paradigms, but also enable the creation of policy architectures based on anticipation of players‟ actions and/or alteration of players‟ incentives/disincentives to encourage/discourage certain behavioural outcomes. This thesis also applies game-theoretic frameworks to analyze some issues within the domain of terrorism and CT.1.1 Motivation and Approach Terrorism is a menacing problem affecting large parts of the world. Terror events such as those of September 11, 2001 (United States), December 13, 2001 (New Delhi, India), October 12, 2002 (Bali, Indonesia), October 23, 2002 (Moscow, Russia), March 11, 2004 (Madrid, Spain), July 7, 2005 (London, United Kingdom), July 11, 2006 (Mumbai, India), November 26, 2008 (Mumbai, India), May 22, 2013 (London, United Kingdom), July 27, 2015 (Gurdaspur, India), January 2-5, 2016 (Pathankot, India), September 18, 2016 (Uri, India), February 14, 2019 (Pulwama, India) amongst many others; illustrate the magnitude of the threat posed by terror outfits such as al Qaeda, Lashkar-e-Taiba, Jaish-e-Mohammad, Jemaah Islamiyah, etc. Terrorists operate both within and across borders, attempting to leave a trail of death and destruction, in order to create fear among people. Given the extent of suffering caused by these actors on theglobal stage, it is the endeavor of policy-makers and governments all over the world, to restrict terrorism. And for this purpose, they need to choose suitable counter-terrorism (CT) policies given their financial and operational constraints.CT measures are broadly classified as defensive measures, offensive measures and confidence-building measures (CBMs). Defensive CT measures include hardening of potential targets1 , deployment of governmental intelligence agencies against the outfit on a priority basis, covert tactical operations aimed at disrupting the operational capabilities of the terrorists and their handlers, etc. The construction of a double-row concertina wire fence about 700 meters from the Line of Control (LoC) separating the Indian State of Jammu and Kashmir from Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (POK), called the Anti-Infiltration Obstacle System (AIOS), by the Indian Army during 2003 to 2005, is an example of such efforts. Such CT efforts attempt to reduce terror strikes by rapidly increasing the terrorists‟ (ex-post) operational inefficiency.The targeted country‟s government may alternatively take the more offensive approach of imposing financial and other sanctions, or even conducting strategic pre-emptive strikes to destroy the assets of terror outfits.2 A case in point is that of American airstrikes conducted in 2001 in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, to topple the Taliban regime in Afghanistan through massive destruction of its resources and elimination of its leadership. Such measures are mostly strategic in scope, as opposed to the tactical nature of most defensive measures.The government may also adopt the softer approach of winning the hearts and minds of the alienated population living in a terror-affected geographical area, in order to reduce support for the terror outfit(s) operating in that area and/or to reduce the outfit‟s motivation to maintain avery high level of terror activity.


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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.


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