Date of Award
Master of Arts
Larry R Petersen
Wanda S Rushing
This paper attempts to contribute to the sociological literature on terrorism by testing Friedrich Nietzsche's (1967) ideas about the relationship between inequality and terrorism. Nietzsche's work predicts that political and economic inequality are positively related to ressentiment, a hatred of the elites in society. Ressentiment, in turn, is positively related to political violence, one form of which is terrorism. Working from Nietzsche's writing and a body of literature that examines the connection between terrorism and regime type, it is also predicted that these relationships will be stronger in liberal democracies than any other regime type. Using country-level data, the findings reveal that none of the predicted relationships hold true for other regime types. However, liberal democracies do exhibit the expected positive relationships between economic inequality and ressentiment. Implications the findings have for Nietzsche's theory and possible explanations for unexpected findings are discussed.
dissertation or thesis originally submitted to the local University of Memphis Electronic Theses & dissertation (ETD) Repository.
Lewis, Christy L. Ms, "Terrorism and Ressentiment: Using Nietzsche to Think About Inequality" (2011). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 247.