UT Dallas study supports no-concessions policy for terrorist kidnappings

The study, published in the European Journal of Political Economy, analyzed data on politically motivated kidnappings between 1978 and 2013.
The study, published in the European Journal of Political Economy, analyzed data on politically motivated kidnappings between 1978 and 2013. | File photo

University of Texas Dallas researchers recently published a study showing that countries who negotiate with terrorists face up to 87 percent more kidnappings than countries that adopt a no-concessions policy. 

“Every time you get one person back, and you did it by giving in, you’re going to have approximately another one taken. You’re essentially trading one for one,” UT Dallas professor of economics and political economy  Todd Sandler, senior author of the study, said. “Despite the human tragedy, you do tremendous harm by giving in. You give them the resources they need with these ransoms and you encourage them to take more people.”

The study, published in the European Journal of Political Economy, analyzed data on politically motivated kidnappings between 1978 and 2013 and found that eight countries that are known for making concessions are more likely to see their citizens taken hostage.

“The significance of this study lies in its timeliness and importance for policymakers,” UT Dallas professor of political science Patrick Brandt said. “Recent terrorist kidnappings have called some to question no-concessions policies. Our study shows that policymakers need to follow this policy and not pay ransoms.”

Organizations in this story


UT-Dallas 800 W Campbell Rd Richardson, TX - 75080

Get notified the next time we write about UT-Dallas!