Grounding Suicide Terrorism in Death Anxiety and Consumer Capitalism

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


This article examines an influential theory on suicide attacker motivations, the Significance Quest Theory, and suggests that this death anxiety approach can be improved by shifting its focus toward the related, but more comprehensive, Terror Management Theory. The theoretical productivity of this realignment is tested by examining the relationship between suicide attacks and one of the variables thought to trigger the underlying anxieties: the local pressures from global consumer capitalism. After describing the relationship between death anxiety and suicide terrorism generally, this article concludes by applying these insights to the ethnographic context of Egypt.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)1-42
JournalLoyola of Los Angeles International and Comparative Law Review
StatePublished - Jan 1 2021


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