Author Biography

Dr. Robert Nalbandov has received his B.A. in linguistics from the Tbilisi Foreign Language Institute, M.P.A. from the Georgian-American Institute of Public Administration, a M.A. in International Relations from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University, and his Ph.D. in Political Science from the Central European University, Budapest, in 2008. He is the author of "Foreign Interventions in Ethnic Conflicts" (2009, Ashgate) and numerous articles on international security and conflict resolution. Currently Dr. Nalbandov is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Political Science, Utah State University. Dr. Nalbandov is currently working on two major projects: a manuscript entitled “Democratization and Instability in Ukraine, Georgia and Belarus” for the US Army War College and is co-editing a book entitled “Peace and Conflict in Africa” for the US Marine Corps University Press.



Subject Area Keywords

Al-Qaida, Armed groups, Asymmetric warfare, International security, National security, Political violence, Terrorism / counterterrorism


The present article deals with the ontological problem of applying the rational choice frameworks to the study of terrorism. It testing the application of the rational choice to the “old” (before the end of the Cold War) and the “new” (after the end of the Cold War) terrorisms. It starts with analyzing the fundamentals of rationality and applies it at two levels: the individual (actors) and group (collective) via two outlooks: tactical (short-term) and strategic (long-term). The main argument of the article is that while the “old” terrorism can be explained by the rational choice theory its “new” version represents a substantial departure from rationality.