skip navigation

PUBLICATIONS

Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Virtual Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the Virtual Library. See the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.

 

NCJ Number: 222243 Find in a Library
Title: Modeling Hostage-Taking: On Reputation and Strategic Rationality of Terrorists
Journal: Studies in Conflict & Terrorism  Volume:31  Issue:2  Dated:February 2008  Pages:158-168
Author(s): Heinrich Harald Nax
Date Published: February 2008
Page Count: 11
Publisher: http://www.taylorandfrancis.com/ 
Type: Research (Theoretical)
Format: Article
Language: English; Spanish
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article examines hostage-taking from a game theoretic standpoint, arguing that game theory is helpful for analyzing the hostage-taking situation.
Abstract: Game theory is the tool in the social science toolbox, which allows one to formally analyze instrumentally rational strategic choice. Taking of hostages is a strategic real-world phenomenon. Game theory should therefore have something to say about the strategic character of hostage-takings. The recommended non-negotiation strategy has been found ineffective. However, there is a paradox of contradiction between a game theoretic recommendation and empirical evidence leading to branches of the terrorism literature to suggest that game theory has little to contribute to the study of the hostage-taking situation. This article challenges this view and argues that game theory is indeed beneficial for analyzing the hostage-taking situation. A new framework suggests that the conclusion of irrational terrorists is largely unwarranted and it is assumed that terrorists are unboundedly rational. To this end, the article derives a two-stage game with two-sided incomplete information which is then formally analyzed in the article. Appendix, 19 notes
Main Term(s): Hostage negotiations; Hostage takers
Index Term(s): Behavior patterns; Behavior typologies; Group behavior; Hostages; Individual behavior; Motivation; Revolutionary or terrorist groups
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=244141

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.