Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Sociology (MA)

Degree Level



Sociology and Criminology


Casey Harris

Committee Member

Jeffrey Gruenewald

Second Committee Member

Kevin Fitzpatrick


international terrorist groups, non-violent political affiliate, sucessful negotiations, politicization


Despite significant advances in the terrorism literature since the September 11th attacks, there remains very little research into the processes by which terrorism might come to a peaceful end. The present study addresses this gap in the literature by investigating politicization, a process by which terrorist organizations negotiate with authorities and the two parties enter a peace agreement or otherwise agree to cease hostilities. The study explores the politicization outcome as predicted by important organizational and behavioral characteristics that prior literature identifies as affecting how terrorist groups end, including group size, organization lifespan, target type for terroristic activities, and the breadth of organizational goals. The key contribution of the current study is a focus on the presence of a non-violent political affiliate (NVPA) within a broader terrorist organization and the role these affiliates play in predicting politicization. Multivariate logistic regression analysis finds strong evidence of a relationship between the presence of a NVPA and politicization, as well as between group size and political cessation of terrorist activities. To elaborate on those findings, a brief case study/typology illustrates these linkages using both historical and contemporary terrorist organizations as examples. I conclude by discussing the role of NVPAs in understanding the terrorist organizational life cycle broadly, as well as directions for future research that extend key themes identified by the current study.