Most Cited Terrorism Research Studies

What are the most cited studies on terrorism? Well, I hope you are an avid reader because here are one hundred of them!

There are a number of core journals, research articles and citation classics mentioned in Andrew Silke and Jennifer Schmidt-Petersen‘s “The Golden Age? What the 100 most cited articles in Terrorism Studies tell us” (2015). It gives us fantastic insight into this question (and does most of the work for me).

Here is the list from the aforementioned study (modified by myself) ranking research articles from greatest number of citations to least:


  1. Fearon, James D., and David D. Laitin. “Ethnicity, insurgency, and civil war.” 2003. Cited 3490 times.


  2. Galea, Sandro, Jennifer Ahern, Heidi Resnick, Dean Kilpatrick, Michael Bucuvalas, Joel Gold, and David Vlahov. “Psychological sequelae of the September 11 terrorist attacks in New York City.” 2002. Cited 1239 times.

  3. Schuster, Mark 4., Bradley D. Stein, Lisa H. Jaycox, Rebecca L. Collins, Grant N. Marshall, Marc N. Elliott, Ann¡e J.Zhou, David E. Kanouse, Janina L. Morrison, and Sandra H. Berry. “A national survey of stress reactions after the September 71,,200L, terrorist attacks.” 2001. Cited 1115 times.

  4. Pape, Robert A. “The strategic logic of suicide terrorism.” 2003. Cited 913 times.

  5. Schlenger, William E., Juesta M. Caddell, Lori Ebert, B. Kathleen Jordan, Kathryn M.
    Rourke, David Wilson, Lisa Thalji, J. Michael Dennis, John A. Fairbank, and
    Richard A. Kulka. “Psychological reactions to terrorist attacks: findings from the National Study of Americans’ Reactions to September 11.” 2002. Cited 820 times.


  6. Fredrickson, Barbara 1., Michele M. Tugade, Christian E. Waugh, and Gregory R. Larkin. “What good are positive emotions in crisis? A prospective study of resilience and emotions following the terrorist attacks on the United States on September 11th, 2001.” 2003. Cited 820 times.

  7. Jenkins, J. Craig, and Charles Perrow. “lnsurgency of the powerless: Farm worker movements (1946 -1972).” 1977. Cited 756 times.

  8. Crenshaw, Martha. “The causes of terrorism.” 1981. Cited 714 times.

  9. Krueger Alan, and Jitka Maleckova. “Education, poverty and terrorism: ls there a causal connection?.” 2003. Cited 713 times.

  10. Meselson, M., J. Guillemin, and M. Hugh-Jones. “Public health assessment of potential biological terrorism agents.” 2002. Cited 628 times.

  11. Krebs, Valdis E. “Mapping networks of terrorist cells.” 2002. Cited 576 times.

  12. Lerner, Jennifer S., Roxana M. Gonzalez, Deborah A. Small, and Baruch Fischhoff.
    Effects of Fear and Anger on Perceived Risks of Terrorism A National Field Experiment.” 2003. Cited 561 times.


  13. Atran, Scott. “Genesis of suicide terrorism.” 2003. Cited 512 times.

  14. Volpp, Leti. “The Citizen and the Terrorist.” 2001. Cited 478 times.

  15. McAdam, Doug. “Tactical innovation and the pace of insurgency.” 1983. Cited 449 times.

  16. Wohlstetter, Albert. “The Delicate Balance of Terror.” 1958. Cited 448 times.

  17. Müller, Edward N., and Mitchell A. Seligson. “lnequality and insurgency.” 1987. Cited 442 times.

  18. Abadie, Alberto. “Poverty, Political Freedom, and the Roots of Terrorism.” 2006. Cited 436 times.

  19. Beck, Ulrich. “The terrorist threat world risk society revisited.” 2002. Cited 415 times.

  20. Sheffi, Yossi. “Supply chain management under the threat of international terrorism.” 2001. Cited 413 times.

  21. Galea, Sandro, David Vlahov, Heidi Resnick, Jennifer Ahern, Ezra Susser, Joel Gold,
    Michael Bucuvalas, and Dean Kilpatrick. “Trends of probable post-traumatic stress disorder in New York City after the September l1 terrorist attacks.” 2003. Cited 379 times.


  22. Bleich, Avraham, Marc Gelkopf, and Zahava Solomon. “Exposure to terrorism, stress related mental health symptoms, and coping behaviors among a nationally representative sample in Israel.” 2003. Cited 375 times.

  23. Muller, Edward N. “Income inequality, regime repressiveness, and political violence.” 1985. Cited 375 times.

  24. Rapoport, David C. “Fear and trembling: Terrorism in three religious traditions.” 1984. Cited 368 times.

  25. Gibney, Mark, and Matthew Dalton. “The political terror scale.” 1996. Alternative link here. Cited 365 times.

  26. Zald, Mayer N., and Michael A. Berger. “Social movements in organizations: Coup d’etat, insurgency, and mass movements.” 1978. Cited 332 times.

  27. Muller, Edward N., and Erich Weede. “Cross-National Variation in Political Violence A Rational Action Approach.” 1990. Cited 326 times.

  28. Jenkins, J. Craig, and Craig M. Eckert. “Channeling black insurgency: Elite patronage and professional social movement organizations in the development of the black movement.” 1986. Cited 322 times

  29. Sönmez, Sevil F., and Alan R. Graefe. “Influence of terrorism risk on foreign tourism decisions.” 1998. Cited 314 times.

  30. Laqueur, Walter. “Postmodern terrorism.” 1996. Cited 309 times.

  31. Cronin, Audrey Kurth. “Behind the Curve: Globalization and International Terrorism.” 2002. Cited 297 times.

  32. Vlahov, David, Sandro Galea, Heidi Resnick, Jennifer Ahern, Joseph A. Boscarino,
    Michael Bucuvalas, Joel Gold, and Dean Kilpatrick. “Increased use of cigarettes, alcohol, and marijuana among Manhattan, New York, residents after the September 11th terrorist attacks.” 2002. Cited 294 times.


  33. Victoroff, Jeff. “The Mind of the Terrorist: A Review and Critique of Psychological Approaches.” 2005. Cited 293 times.

  34. Goenjian, Armen K., Alan M. Steinberg, Louis M. Najarian, Lynn A. Fairbanks, Madeline Tashjian, and Robert S. Pynoos. “Prospective study of posttraumatic stress, anxiety, and depressive reactions after earthquake and political violence.” 2000. Cited 286 times.

  35. Enders, Walter, and Todd Sandler. “ls transnational terrorism becoming more threatening? A time-series investigation.” 2000. Cited 285 times.

  36. Kalyvas, Stathis N. “The ontology of “political violence”: action and identity in civil wars.” 2003. Cited 284 times.

  37. Stuntz, William J. “Local policing after the terror.” 2002. Cited 283 times.

  38. Sandler, Todd, and Walter Enders. “An economic perspective on transnational terrorism.” 2002. Cited 283 times.

  39. Frykberg, Eric R. “Medical management of disasters and mass casualties from terrorist bombings: how can we cope?.” 2002. Cited 281 times.

  40. Sönmez, Sevil F. “Tourism, terrorism, and political instability.” 1998. Cited 273 times.

  41. Li, Quan, and Drew Schaub. “Economic Globalization and Transnational Terrorism A Pooled Time-Series Analysis.” 2004. Cited 271 times.

  42. Crenshaw, Martha. “The psychology of terrorism: An agenda for the 21st century.” 2000. Cited 270 times.

  43. Frykberg, Eric R., and J. J. Tepas 3rd. “Terrorist bombings: Lessons learned from Belfast to Beirut.” 1988. Cited 270 times.

  44. Taussig, Michael. “Culture of terror—Space of death. Roger Casement’s Putumayo report and the explanation of torture.” 1984. Cited 261 times.

  45. Sönmez, Sevil F., Yiorgos Apostolopoulos, and Peter Tarlow. “Tourism in crisis: Managing the effects of terrorism.” 1999. Cited 260 times.

  46. Leach, W. Barton. “Perpetuities in Perspective: Ending the Rule’s Reign of Terror.” 1952. Cited 260 times.

  47. Amoore, Louise. “Biometric borders: governing mobilities in the war on terror.” 2006. Cited 256 times.

  48. Kydd, Andrew H., and Barbara F. Walter. “The strategies of terrorism.” 2006. Cited 254 times.

  49. Mallaby, Sebastian. “The reluctant imperialist: terrorism, failed states, and the case for American empire.” 2002. Cited 254 times.

  50. Sandler, Todd, John T. Tschirhart, and Jon Cauley. “A theoretical analysis of transnational terrorism.” 1983. Cited 252 times.

  51. Rotberg, Robert l. “Failed states in a world of terror.” 2002. Cited 250 times.

  52. Altheide, David L. “Terrorism and the Politics of Fear.” 2006. Cited 247 times.

  53. Murshed, S. Mansoob, and Scott Gates. “Spatial-horizontal inequality and the Maoist insurgency in Nepal.” 2005. Cited 246 times.

  54. De Mesquita, Ethan Bueno. “The quality of terror.” 2005. Cited 241 times.

  55. Garbarino, James, and Kathleen Kostelny. “The effects of political violence on Palestinian children’s behavior problems: A risk accumulation model.” 1996. Cited 240 times.

  56. Enders, Walter, Todd Sandler, and Gerald F. Parise. “An econometric analysis of the impact of terrorism on tourism.” 1992. Cited 240 times.

  57. Di Tella, Rafael, and Ernesto Schargrodsky. “Do police reduce crime? Estimates using the allocation of police forces after a terrorist attack.” 2004. Cited 240 times.

  58. Holcomb, John 8., Neil R. McMullin, Lisa Pearse, Jim Caruso, Charles E. Wade, Lynne
    Oetjen-Gerdes, Howard R. Champion et al. “Causes of death in US Special Operations Forces in the global war on terrorism: 2001-2004.” 2007. Cited 239 times.


  59. Franck, Thomas M. “Terrorism and the Right of Self-defense.” 2001. Cited 239 times.

  60. Frey, Bruno S., Simon Luechinger, and Alois Stutzer. “Calculating tragedy: Assessing the costs of terrorism.” 2007. Cited 238 times.

  61. Cole, David. “The new McCarthyism: Repeating history in the war on terrorism.” 2003. Cited 236 times.

  62. Yamasue, H., K. Kasai, A. lwanami, T. Ohtani, H. Yamada, O. Abe, N. Kuroki et al. “Voxel-based analysis of MRI reveals anterior cingulate gray-matter volume reduction in posttraumatic stress disorder due to terrorism.” 2003. Cited 234 times.

  63. Aradau, Claudia, and Rens Van Munster. “Governing terrorism through risk: Taking precautions, (un)knowing the future.” 2007. Cited 229 times.

  64. Cassese, Antonio. “Terrorism is also disrupting some crucial legal categories of international law.” 2001. Cited 224 times.

  65. Bonanno George, Sandro Galeá, Angela Bucciarelli, and David Vlahov. “Psychological resilience after disaster New York city in the aftermath of the September 11th Terrorist Attack.” 2006. Cited 219 times.

  66. Krane, D. 4., and T. D. Mason. “The political economy of death squads: Toward a theory of the impact of state-sanctioned terror.” 1989. Cited 218 times.

  67. Chen, Andrew H., and Thomas F. Siems. “The effects of terrorism on global capital markets.” 2004. Cited 213 times.

  68. Urdal, Henrik. “A clash of generations? Youth bulges and political violence.”
    2006. Cited 212 times.


  69. Ahern, Jennifer, Sandro Galea, Heidi Resnick, Dean Kilpatrick, Michael Bucuvalas, Joel Gold, and David Vlahov. “Television images and psychological symptoms after the September 11 terrorist attacks.” 2002. Cited 212 times.

  70. Kilcullen, David. “Counter-insurgency redux.” 2006. Cited 211 times.

  71. Reisman, W. Michael. “International legal responses to terrorism.” 1999. Cited 209 times.

  72. Murphy, Sean D. “Terrorism and the Concept of Armed Attack in Article 51 of the UN Charter.” 2002. Cited 208 times.

  73. Halberstam, Malvina. “Terrorism on the high seas: the Achille Lauro, piracy and the IMO convention on maritime safety.” 1988. Cited 205 times.

  74. Davis, Darren W., and Brian D. Silver. “Civil liberties vs. security: Public opinion in the context of the terrorist attacks on America.” 2003. Cited 203 times.

  75. Punamäki, Raija-Leena. “Can ideological commitment protect children’s psychosocial well-being in situations of political violence?.” 1996. Cited 201 times.

  76. Nagengast, Carole. “Violence, Terror, and the Crisis of the State.” 1994. Cited 197 times.

  77. Blomberg, S. Brock, Gregory D. Hess, and Athanasios Orphanides. “The macroeconomic consequences of terrorism .” 2004. Cited 196 times.

  78. Piazza, James A. “Rooted in Poverty?: Terrorism, Poor Economic Development, and Social Cleavages.” 2006. Cited 196 times.

  79. Post, Jerrold, Ehud Sprinzak, and Laurita Denny. “The terrorists in their own words: Interviews with 35 incarcerated Middle Eastern terrorists.” 2003. Cited 194 times.

  80. Moghaddam, Fathali M. “The Staircase to Terrorism: A Psychological Exploration.” 2005. Cited 193 times.

  81. Pfefferbaum, Betty, Sara Jo Nixon, Rick D. Tivis, Debby E. Doughty, Robert S. Pynoos,
    Robin H. Gurwitch, and David W. Foy. “Television exposure in children after a terrorist incident.” 2001. Cited 193 times.


  82. Enders, Walter, and Todd Sandler. “Terrorism and foreign direct investment in Spain and Greece.” 1996. Cited 192 times. Cited 192 times.

  83. Enders, Walter, and Todd Sandler. “Causality between transnational terrorism and tourism: The case of Spain.” 1991. Cited 191 times.

  84. Russell, CA, and BH Miller. “Profile of a terrorist.” 1977. Cited 191 times.

  85. Eckstein, Zvi, and Daniel Tsiddon. “Macroeconomic consequences of terror: theory and the case of Israel.” 2004. Cited 190 times.

  86. Kilcullen, David J. “Countering global insurgency.” 2005. Cited 190 times.

  87. Byers, Michael. “Terrorism, the use of force and international law after 11 September.” 2002. Cited 189 times.

  88. Bonanno George, Courtney Rennicke, and Sharon Dekel. “Self-enhancement among high-exposure survivors of the September 1Lth terrorist attack: Resilience or social maladjustment?.” 2005. Cited 188 times.

  89. Enders, Walter, and Todd Sandler. “Patterns of transnational terrorism, 1970-1999: alternative time-series estimates.” 2002. Cited 187 times.

  90. Cooper, Graham J., Robert L. Maynard, Norman L. Cross, and James F. Hill. “Casualties from terrorist bombings.” 1983. Cited 187 times.

  91. Kretzmer, David. “Targeted killing of suspected terrorists: Extra-judicial executions or legitimate means of defence?.” 2005. Cited 186 times.

  92. Brooks, Rosa Ehrenreich. “War everywhere: rights, national security law, and the law of armed conflict in the age of terror.” 2004. Cited 185 times.

  93. Coronil, Fernando, and Julie Skurski. “Dismembering and remembering the nation: the semantics of political violence in Venezuela.”1991. Cited 185 times.

  94. Sofaer, Abraham D. “The Sixth Annual Waldemar A. Solf Lecture in International Law: Terrorism, the Law, and the National Defense.” 1989. Cited 185 times.

  95. Krebs, Valdis. “Uncloaking terrorist networks.” 2002. Cited 183 times.

  96. Salmeron, Javier, Kevin Wood, and Ross Baldick. “Analysis of Electric Grid Security Under Terrorist Threat.” 2004. Cited 183 times.

  97. Puar, Jasbir K., and Amit Rai. “Monster, terrorist, fag: The war on terrorism and the production of docile patriots.” 2002. Cited 183 times.

  98. Cronin, Audrey Kurth. “How al-Qaida ends: The decline and demise of terrorist groups.” 2006. Cited 183 times.

  99. Steín, Michael, and Asher Hirshberg. Medical consequences of terrorism: the conventional weapon threat.” 1999. Cited 177 times.

  100. Khan, Ali S., Stephen Morse, and Scott Lillibridge. “Public-health preparedness for biological terrorism in the USA.” 2000. Cited 177 times.

And end of list!

Above: Screenshots of the 100 citations featured in Silke and Schmidt-Peterson’s study.

Future research may lead to more breakthroughs and citation classics in this dynamic, ever-growing research area, so keep that in mind as you revisit this list. Thank you for reading!

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