Transnational terrorism hot spots: Identification and impact evaluation Academic Article uri icon


  • To combat transnational terrorism, it is important to understand its geography. The extant literature on the geography of terrorism, however, is small and focuses on the distribution and diffusion of terrorism among aggregate regions such as Europe and the Middle East. In this analysis, we study transnational terrorism hot spots at the country level. We employ local spatial statistics to identify terrorism hot spot neighborhoods and countries that are located within. We also assess empirically the impact of these hot spots on future patterns of terrorist incidents. We find that countries with significant experiences with terrorism are often located within these hot spots, but that not all countries within the hot spots have experienced large numbers of terrorist incidents. We also find in a pooled time-series analysis of 112 countries from 1975 to 1997 that when a country is located within a hot spot neighborhood, a large increase in the number of terrorist attacks is likely to occur in the next period. This effect is robust under alternative definitions of geographic proximity and across the two most popular measures of local hot spots of datathe G*istatistic and the Local Moran's I. These findings have important implications for the continuing fight against transnational terrorism.

published proceedings


altmetric score

  • 36

author list (cited authors)

  • Braithwaite, A., & Li, Q.

citation count

  • 117

complete list of authors

  • Braithwaite, Alex||Li, Quan

publication date

  • September 2007