Sample Political Science Essay Paper on Research Design: Impacts of Terrorism on Society

Research Design: Impacts of Terrorism on Society


The issue of terrorism has attracted considerable attention over the years. Focus and debates on the topic have become extensive since the September 11, 2001terrorist attack on the United States. It is unfortunate that several incidences of terrorism continue to be witnessed year in year out despite the active scholarly analysis of the topic over the years. The increased focus on the topic has resulted in even more confusion than before on what terrorism actually entails. The term “terrorism” is defined differently among different individuals and groups. With the different definitions and use of the term, studying the phenomenon as one of the several forms of political violence around the globe has become difficult. Generally, terrorism can be defined as the use of violence against civilians or unarmed individuals with this perpetrated by individuals believed to be nonstate actors with the intention of achieving a certain political outcome. It can also be defined as the use of violence or force targeted at people or property that violate the criminal laws of a country majorly for the purposes of ransom, coercion, and intimidation. There are several historical examples of terrorism including the attempted bombing of the House of Lords in England in 1605 with the aim of killing James I; 1903 bombings by members of the Boatmen of Thessaloniki in the Ottoman Empire; the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States, and several others. The several incidences of terrorism have adversely impacted the global community from social, economic, religious, and economic perspectives. This research seeks to investigate the impacts of terrorism on society. With the issue far from complete eradication, an evaluation of its impacts on society is important, which is the primary aim of this research.

Literature Review

A number of studies and literature explore the issue of terrorism to raise awareness on what ought to be done to address the problem. Various pieces of literature explore the causes of terrorism and proceed to examine its impact at the community, national, regional, and global levels.

Çınar (2017) argues that terrorism is like human history as both are old concepts. He states that terrorism as a concept was first incepted when the acts of violence were targeted at the Sicarii and the Romans in B.C. 7366. It remains one of the social events that has continued to win universality around the world over the years. In fact, it has become one of the world’s major agendas since the 1960s. According to Çınar (2017), terrorism has adverse impacts on the societal economy. Terrorism tends to create horror, fear, and tension in society; aspects that have adverse impacts on society’s economic aspect. In other words, terrorism has a significant influence on the socio-political lives of individuals in society thus adversely affecting economic development. One of the major reasons why terrorists target a society’s or country’s economy is that this is the most critical success indicator. Terrorist organizations believe that by targeting a country’s economy, they are likely to cause panic and chaos that could pave the way for anarchy and completely jeopardizing economic growth. Still, on the economic aspect, Çınar argues that terrorism has a significant influence on production factors such as capital and labor. In the case of terrorism, several lives are lost thus jeopardizing the availability of labor to work in various economic sectors. It also results in the damage of property leading to a new investment of capital to address the resultant damage. The author further mentions that economic decision units such as savings, production, investment, and consumption are usually adversely affected by terrorism, and these end up interfering with a nation’s economic structure.

According to Chaiguerova & Soldatova (2013), terrorist attacks have long-term impacts on the emotional state and basic beliefs of survivors and the general population. The authors argue that terrorist attacks have gradually become the most horrific types of extreme situations surpassing natural disasters, technogenic and anthropogenic catastrophes, and well as participation in military operations. Chaiguerova & Soldatova state that almost all extreme situations have a similar psychological impact on people. However, situations involving intentional violence such as terrorism cause more harm, more significant damage to human health and significant physical destruction. In other words, among all extreme situations, there is no doubt that terrorism has the strongest impact on victims. In their study on the impacts of terrorism on individuals and society, Chaiguerova & Soldatova focus on some of the terrorist attacks in Russia. They give insight into a terrorist attack that occurred on September 1, 2004, in Russia and was perpetrated by armed Chechen separatists. In the attack, the separatists attacked a school in Beslan, a Russian town, and captured approximately 1,100 people including teachers, parents, and children. The attack that lasted for almost three days resulted in the death of approximately 334 hostages inclusive of around 186 children. The attack has since been described as the most inhuman and frightful acts with serious psychological consequences for the people living in Beslan.

Khan (2013) avers that terrorism has resulted in the suffering of several countries whether in North and South America, Asia, Europe, and Africa. Khan cites the 2001 report of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) that indicates that the September 11, 2001 attacks alone cost the United States close to $21.4 billion. Other reports attribute the attack to the loss of between $50 and $53 billion in capital stock in the United States. One of the counties that has been a primary target for terrorist attacks over the years is Pakistan (Khan, 2013).  Since 2001, the country has been facing all forms of terrorist attacks from suicide bombings and military operations. The attacks have thus had economic, political social, and psychological impacts on the Pakistani population. Concerning the social impact of terrorism on Pakistan, Khan argues that one of the social aspects that has been adversely affected is employment.  Employment is considered more of social than economic issue as it directly affects the lives of all individuals alike. As a result of increased terrorist attacks, the Pakistan’s unemployed population increased from around 3.12 million in 2009/10 to 3.4 million between 2010 and 2011. Another social aspect that has been adversely impacted by terrorism in Pakistan is education. Khan (2013) states that in the past 3 or four decades, terrorist attacks in Pakistan have been targeted at a number of schools. For instance, in 2008, around 119 schools in Pakistan were attacked with 188 being attacked in 2009, and 142 in 2011. The massive displacement of the Pakistani population is another social impact of the numerous terrorist attacks in the country. Khan further mentions that terrorism has resulted in adverse political impacts in Pakistan given the negative image of the country at the local, regional, and international levels. At the economic point of view, terrorism has had adverse impacts on Pakistan’s earnings, foreign direct investment, tourism, consumption, labor, production, and security expenditures (Khan, 2013). The adverse psychological impacts of terrorism on the Pakistani population cannot be understated given the serious impacts on human health while causing trauma and stress.

In their study of the effects of terrorism in the northeastern states in India, Hussain & Sarma (2016) argue that the concept has had adverse socio-economic and psychological effects in India’s selected states. They argue that terrorism has a wide range of socio-economic effects ranging from the loss of lives and the destruction of properties. They also mention that many nations encounter a long-term impact when it comes to investing in projects or programs aimed at combating terrorism. Another argument by Hussain & Sarma is that terrorism jeopardizes economic growth as it limits direct foreign investment and other forms of investments in the victim nations. This is usually accompanied by governments’ increased spending on security measures or interventions aimed at combating terrorism alongside a significant increase in premiums and expenditures on security. The authors also estimate that in the event of transnational terrorism, the per capita growth is likely to reduce. The study by Hussain & Sarma also highlight the psychological effects of terrorism on victims. They state that in most cases, after the occurrence of terrorist attacks, the focus is usually on infrastructural rebuilding and taking care of peoples compromised lives. What is not focused on by concerned stakeholders is that the phenomenon results in psychological trauma that can exist for a long time or even throughout the life of a victim. Since most terrorist activities such as bomb blasts occur suddenly and unexpectedly, they are the most psychologically disturbing types of disasters. This is worsened by their intentional nature (Hussain & Sarma, 2016).

Research Questions

The research seeks to answer the following research questions:

  1. What are some of the impacts of terrorism on society?
  2. Is the global population at an increased risk for terrorist attacks in society today?

Research Hypotheses

H1: There are numerous impacts of terrorism on society and members of society including social, economic, political, religious, and psychological impacts.

H2: The global population faces an increased risk for terrorist attacks in modern society.


Research Design

The research will adopt an exploratory research technique. In this research technique, the focus is usually on establishing specific characteristics as well as features of a particular subject of study (Kumar, 2015). In this case, the focus will be on establishing the specific characteristics and features of terrorism and its impacts on society. The research design will also include the testing of research hypotheses to determine whether the claims made by the hypotheses are true or false. The study will also rely on a mixed research design since both qualitative and quantitative techniques will be applied.

Data Sources and Collection

Victims of terrorism and those who are yet to experience terrorism will be interviewed to collect their views on the same. Also, researchers will conduct personal observation of the participants, particularly the victims of terrorism to determine the psychological and other impacts on them. The data collected will encompass the behaviors of the participants based on their interaction with one another and the research team. The participants will be mandated to indicate other possible impacts they have encountered since their encounter with terrorist events.

Data Analysis and Interpretation

After collection, the analysis will be carried out using a statistical package for the social sciences (SPSS) tool. Since interview will be conducted with the participant, their responses will be recorded and later scrutinized to eliminate potential issues of reliability and validity. During the interviews, the research team will be mandated to capture data based on whether terrorism has social, economic, religious, political, and psychological impacts on society and members of society. The number of participants with positive responses as well as those with negative responses will be recorded. Moreover, the researchers will explore the extent to which terrorism has affected the global society based on the opinions of the respondents.

Ethical Issues

It is expected that the research will raise certain ethical issues. One of the ethical issues that will be raised by the research is the need to obtain informed consent (Fouka & Mantzorou, 2011). The research team will be mandated to ensure that the participants knowingly, intelligently, and voluntarily take part in the research. The research team will engage the potential participants before the actual research and inform them of the risks and benefits of taking part in the research. In the long run, the research will take not of individuals not interested in the study. Another ethical issue that could rise in the research is beneficence. It will the responsibility of the researchers to ensure that no physical or psychological harm is done to the participants (Machin & Shardlow, 2018). To achieve this, the research team will carefully consider the potential consequences of the research and try as much as possible to prevent them.

Personal Refection

After completion of the research design, I have come to realize that both research designs and academic essays observe an almost similar organizational shape. One of the major differences between the two, however, is that research designs entail researching and expressing other people’s and other studies’ point of view on a topic whereas academic essay is majorly about expressing one’s own ideas and supporting with evidence where necessary. I believe that writing an academic essay is relatively easier than writing a research design given the in-depth content required for the latter.


Chaiguerova, L., & Soldatova, G. (2013). Long-term Impact of Terrorist Attack Experience on Survivors Emotional State and Basic Beliefs. Procedia-Social and Behavioral Sciences86, 603-609. Retrieved from

Çınar, M. (2017). The effects of terrorism on economic growth: Panel data approach. Retrieved from

Fouka, G., & Mantzorou, M. (2011). What are the major ethical issues in conducting research? Is there a conflict between the research ethics and the nature of nursing?. Health Science Journal5(1). Retrieved from

Hussain, D., & Sarma, R. P. (2016). Socio-economic and psychological effects of terrorist bomb blasts on the lives of survivors: an exploratory study on affected individuals. Intervention14(3), 189-199. Retrieved from

Khan, M. T. (2013). The Social, Political and Economic Effects of the War on Terror: Pakistan 2009 To 2011. ISSRA PAPERS, 65. Retrieved from

Kumar, R. (2015). Research methods and technology (1st ed.). London: Sage.

Machin, H. E., & Shardlow, S. M. (2018). Overcoming ethical barriers to research. Research Ethics14(3), 1-9. Retrieved from