Individual Exposure to Terror and Political Attitudes: A Physiologically-Based Model of Militancy

Daphna Canetti, Amnon Cavari, Carmit Rapaport, Hadar Shalev, Stevan E. Hobfoll

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


How does exposure to terrorism affect political attitudes? This paper presents a new individual-level psychobiological model of political attitudes. Using a unique individual-level data of personal exposure to terrorism, a physiological marker of inflammation (CRP) and a psychological measure of perception of threat to an ongoing conflict—the Israel-Palestinian Conflict—we assess the effect of personal exposure to terrorism on militant attitudes concerning the conflict. Our data of physiological (blood samples), psychological, and attitudinal factors were collected in Israel during a military escalation along the Gaza Strip border. The findings reveal that among people personally exposed to terrorism, the perception of threat mediates an association between physiological conditions and militant attitudes. These findings contribute to the emerging literature on the biopolitics of political violence, suggesting a renewed focus on the dynamic interplay between physiological, psychological, and political factors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1055-1070
Number of pages16
JournalTerrorism and Political Violence
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • CRP
  • Israeli-Palestinian conflict
  • Terrorism
  • personal exposure
  • physiological markers
  • political attitudes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Safety Research
  • Political Science and International Relations


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