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《经济学人》:破除误解:贫困与恐怖主义

“极度贫穷的社会为疾病,恐怖主义和冲突提供最理想的温床。”奥巴马这样说,力求推动对贫困国家的更多发展援助。但高层次的恐怖主义嫌疑人依然包含大量受过良好教育的中产阶级。同样也没有证据显示穷苦大众对恐怖主义会更同情。然而,受过教育的恐怖分子更为致命的发现可以说明经济条件能影响恐怖活动的效率。
Exploding misconceptions 破除误解
Alleviating poverty may not reduce terrorism but could make it less effective 减轻贫困或许不能减少恐怖主义,但能降低它的效率
Economics focus 经济聚焦
Dec 16th 2010 | from PRINT EDITION


“EXTREMELY poor societies…provide optimal breeding grounds for disease, terrorism and conflict.” So said Barack Obama, arguing in favour of more development aid to poor countries. Mr Obama is not alone in regarding economic development as a weapon against terrorism. Hillary Clinton, America’s secretary of state, has called development “an integral part of America’s national security policy”. The idea that poverty could be associated with terrorism is not implausible. If acts of terror are committed by people with little to lose, then it is reasonable to expect them to be carried out disproportionately by poor, ill-educated people with dismal economic prospects.

“极度贫穷的社会为疾病,恐怖主义和冲突提供最理想的温床。”奥巴马这样说,力求推动对贫困国家的更多发展援助。不止奥巴马一个人支持用发展经济作为与恐怖主义斗争的武器。希拉里.克林顿,美国国务卿,称发展是“美国国家安全政策的一个重要部分”。把贫穷和恐怖主义联系在一起的想法并不是难以置信的。如果一无所有的人会发起恐怖袭击,那么由毫无经济前景的穷人,被洗脑的人来进行这些活动,虽然不成比例,却也情有可原。

Some terrorists certainly fit this profile. Yet the ranks of high-profile terrorism suspects also boast plenty of middle-class, well-educated people. The would-be Times Square bomber, Faisal Shehzad, boasts an MBA and is the son of a senior Pakistani air-force officer. Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, who stands accused of lighting a makeshift bomb on a transatlantic flight in the so-called “underwear plot”, had a degree from University College, London, and is the son of a rich Nigerian banker. The suspected suicide-bomber in this week’s attacks in Stockholm had a degree from a British university. Are well-heeled terrorists representative or are they exceptions to the rule?

一些恐怖分子显然可以归为此类。但高层次的恐怖主义嫌疑人依然包含大量受过良好教育的中产阶级。时代广场爆炸未遂嫌疑人RAISALSHEHZAD拥有MBA学位并且是巴基斯坦一名空军高级官员之子。在称为“内裤炸弹事件”中被指控试图在大西洋航班上引爆一枚山寨炸弹的UMAR FARROUK AGDULMUTALLAB拥有伦敦的大学的学位,还是尼日利亚一个富裕银行家的儿子。这周斯德哥尔摩自杀炸弹袭击的嫌疑人毕业于英国大学。这些是衣冠楚楚的恐怖分子代表呢,或者说他们是上述理论的例外?

Social scientists have collected a large amount of data on the socioeconomic background of terrorists. According to a 2008 survey of such studies by Alan Krueger of Princeton University, they have found little evidence that the typical terrorist is unusually poor or badly schooled. Claude Berrebi of the RAND Corporation compared the characteristics of suicide-bombers recruited by Hamas and Islamic Jihad from the West Bank and Gaza with those of the general adult male Palestinian population. Nearly 60% of suicide-bombers had more than a high-school education, compared with less than 15% of the general population. They were less than half as likely to come from an impoverished family as an average adult man from the general population. Mr Krueger carried out a similar exercise in Lebanon by collecting biographical information for Hizbullah militants. They too proved to be better educated and less likely to be from poor families than the general population of the Shia-dominated southern areas of Lebanon from which most came.

社会学家收集了恐怖分子的大量社会经济学的背景资料。根据一项2008由普林斯顿大学的ALAN KRUEGER关于该项研究的调查,他们发现很难证明具有代表性的恐怖分子是极其贫穷或缺乏教育的。兰德公司的CLAUDE 将哈马斯和伊斯兰圣战组织从约旦河西岸和加沙地带招募的自杀式炸弹袭击者和巴勒斯坦一般男性成年人的特性做比较。将近60%袭击者有高中以上学历,相比于一般男性的少于15%。他们出身于贫困家庭的几率比一般男性少一半。KRUEGER在黎巴嫩进行一项相似的实验,收集真主党武装分子的出身记录。实验也证实这些他们相比于什叶派统治的黎巴嫩南部地区的普通民众,教育程度更高,更少来自于贫困家庭,多数武装分子来自于该地区。

There is also no evidence that sympathy for terrorism is greater among deprived people. In a series of surveys carried out as part of the Pew Global Attitudes Project in 2004, adults in Jordan, Morocco, Pakistan and Turkey were asked whether they believed that suicide-bombing aimed at American or other Western targets in Iraq was justified. Their answers could be broken down by the respondents’ level of education. Although the proportions varied greatly between countries (with support lowest in Turkey), more schooling usually correlated with more agreement.

同样也没有证据显示穷苦大众对恐怖主义会更同情。在作为皮尤全球态度项目的一部分开展的一系列调查中,有关于约旦,摩洛哥,巴基斯坦和土耳其的成年人对针对在伊拉克的美国和其他西方国家目标的自杀炸弹袭击的态度。把调查对象的教育水平和他们的态度相关联。虽然不同国家的支持率相差很大(土耳其对恐怖分子支持率最低),但受教育更多的人通常更支持恐怖分子。

Some argue that poverty could be at the root of terror even if terrorists are not themselves poor. Anger about poverty in the countries they are from could cause richer citizens of poor countries to join terrorist organisations. This idea can be tested by looking across countries to see if there is a link between a country’s GDP per head and its propensity to produce terrorists. Mr Krueger did precisely this by looking at data on 956 terrorist events between 1997 and 2003. He found that the poorest countries, those with low literacy, or those whose economies were relatively stagnant did not produce more terrorists. When the analysis was restricted to suicide-attacks, there was a statistically significant pattern—but in the opposite direction. Citizens of the poorest countries were the least likely to commit a suicide-attack. The nationalities of all foreign insurgents captured in Iraq between April and October 2005 also produced no evidence that poorer countries produced more insurgents. If anything, there was weak evidence the other way.

有人会说即使恐怖分子本身不贫穷,但贫困还是恐怖活动的根源。对自己国家贫困状况的愤怒可以促使穷国的富人加入恐怖组织。检验这个理论可以看看不同国家之间某个国家的人均国民生产总值和该国制造恐怖分子的倾向是否有联系。KRUEGER就做了这件事,他查看了1997年至2003年之间的956个恐怖活动事件的数据。他发现最穷的,识字率低,经济相对不景气的国家并没有输出更多的恐怖分子。如果把分析限定于自杀式袭击,会得出统计上的显著相关—但却是反向相关。最穷国的公民是最不可能制造自杀袭击的。在2005年4月到10月在伊拉克捕获的所有外籍叛乱分子的国籍资料同样没有证据显示更多叛乱分子来自穷国。如果真要得出什么结论的话,倒是来自穷国的比例稍小。

What might explain why so many relatively well-off people from relatively well-off countries end up as terrorists? It may be that a certain level of education makes it more likely that people will become politicised. But the kind of people that terrorist organisations demand also matters. Unlike ordinary street crime, which does tend to attract the down-and-out, terrorism is a complex activity. So terrorist organisations prefer to recruit skilled, educated people to carry out their missions. Using a database of Palestinian suicide-bombers between the years 2000 and 2005, Mr Berrebi and Harvard University’s Efraim Benmelech find that more educated suicide-bombers are assigned to attack more important targets. Such terrorists also kill more people and are less likely to fail or be caught during their attacks.

为什么那么多相对富足的国家中相对富裕的人最终成为恐怖分子呢,该如何解释呢?或许一定程度的教育让人政治化。但是恐怖组织需要的人才类型也有关系。跟普通街头犯罪不一样,那个确实要从穷困潦倒的人中招募;恐怖活动是一项复杂活动。所以恐怖组织更倾向于招募有一技之长,受过教育的人来完成任务。用2000年到2005年巴勒斯坦自杀炸弹袭击者的数据,BERREBI先生和哈佛大学的benmelech发现袭击者的教育程度越高,他们被分配的袭击目标越重要。而这l类恐怖分子造成更多伤亡,且更不易失败或在袭击中被抓。

The sword is mightier with the pen 文武兼施,效果更好

The finding that more educated terrorists are deadlier may mean, however, that economic conditions can influence terrorism’s effectiveness. Using data on all Palestinian suicide-attackers between 2000 and 2006, Esteban Klor of the Hebrew University in Jerusalem and Messrs Benmelech and Berrebi show in a new paper that the skill level of the average terrorist rises when economic conditions are poor. They reckon that high unemployment enables terror organisations in Palestine to recruit more educated, mature terrorists. So better economic conditions could blunt the effectiveness of terror attacks by reducing the average quality of the talent that terrorist organisations are able to recruit.

然而,受过教育的恐怖分子更为致命的发现可以说明经济条件能影响恐怖活动的效率。根据2000年到2006年巴勒斯坦自杀袭击的数据,耶路撒冷的希伯来大学的KLOR和MESSRS和BERREBI在一篇新论文中指出当经济状况糟糕时,恐怖分子的平均技能水平将上升。他们估计是因为失业人口增多让巴勒斯坦的恐怖组织能招募到更高学历,成熟的恐怖分子。所以改善经济状况能让恐怖组织能够招募到的人才平均素质下降,从而抑制恐怖袭击的效率。

There are many reasons to promote economic development in poor countries but the elimination of terror is not a good one. The research on terrorists’ national origins suggested that countries which give their citizens fewer civil and political rights tend to produce more terrorists. Politics, not economics, is likely to be a more fruitful weapon in the fight against terror.
促进贫穷国家的经济发展有很多理由,但消除恐怖活动算不上一个好理由。对恐怖分子原籍的研究表明那些国民享有较少公民和政治权利的国家更容易产生恐怖分子。政治手段,而不是经济手段,更有可能是打击恐怖活动的有力武器。

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参考文献

"What Makes a Terrorist? Economics and the Roots of Terrorism", by Alan B. Kreuger, Princeton University Press “恐怖分子从何而来?经济状况和恐怖主义根源”,作者: ALAN B. Kreuger, 普林斯顿大学出版社

"Economic Conditions and the Quality of Suicide Terrorism", by Efraim Benmelech, Claude Berrebi and Esteban F. Klor, NBER Working Paper No. 16320, August 2010 “经济状况和恐怖自杀袭击的水平”, 作者:Efraim Benmelech, Claude Berrebi and Esteban F. Klor

Human Capital” and the Productivity of Suicide Bombers" by Efraim Benmelech and Claude Berrebi, Journal of Economic Perspectives, 2007. A version (with a different title) is available as NBER working paper No 12910 “人力资本和自杀炸弹者的生产率” 作者:Efraim Benmelech and Claude Berrebi, 经济前景日报

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