Date of Conferral





Public Policy and Administration


Matthew Jones


Since 1996, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) has been entangled in a cycle of violence. Extensive crimes that include summary executions, rapes, and the use of child soldiers are frequent in the eastern provinces of the DRC. Little is known, however, about the factors that have contributed to the emergence of these ongoing acts of terror. The study provides insights into the antecedent conditions of terrorism in this country. The purpose of this quantitative correlational research study is to examine the precursors of the conflict in the DRC. The study provides the opportunity to understand the degree and possible strength of the relationship between the criterion 'terrorist incidents' and the following predictors: political instability and economic activities in the DRC. Aberle's relative deprivation theory provided structure for the study. Research questions focused on the correlation between terrorist incidents and the 2 predictors: political stability and economic growth. A quantitative correlational study design was employed, using longitudinal secondary data 91 cases' obtained from 2 organizations: (a) the World Bank and (b) the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism. Data from these sources were analyzed using a panel data regression. Results indicated a significant, but negative, association between terrorist incidents and political stability. No significant correlation appeared between terrorist incidents and economic growth. The implications for social change include informing the Congolese government, the African Union's leaders, and the international community about the precursors to these terrorist acts, as well as the need to improve the socioeconomic conditions of civilian and restore the credibility of the governments.