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Distributed for Leiden University Press

Terrorism and Counterterrorism Studies

Comparing Theory and Practice

One of the defining issues of our age, terrorism frequently makes headlines as governments, private businesses, and ordinary citizens find themselves at risk or under attack. But what is the nature of this threat, and what can be done about it?

Terrorism and Counterterrorism Studies examines the essence of terrorism as an instrument to achieve certain goals and explores our difficulties in defining the very concept itself. The volume also provides an overview of current (counter)terrorism studies and discusses policy implications. The resulting recommendations will be valuable for limiting terrorism’s impact and reducing the threat to global peace, security, and stability.

192 pages | 6 x 9 1/5 | © 2015

Political Science: Political and Social Theory

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Table of Contents

List of boxes and figures
About the author

1. Definition and nature of terrorism
1.1 Introduction
1.2 A worldwide phenomenon
1.3 A worldwide threat to security?
1.4 The use of the term terrorism
1.5 Why is there no generally accepted definition?
1.6 The need for a definition
1.7 Definition attempts
1.8 Conclusion

2. History of terrorism: a constantly changing phenomenon
2.1 Introduction
2.2 The first wave of terrorism: the “Anarchist Wave” 
2.3 The second wave of terrorism: the “Anti-colonial Wave”
2.4 The Third wave of terrorism: the “New Left Wave”
2.5 The fourth wave of terrorism: the “Religious Wave”
2.6 A fifth wave of terrorism?
2.7 Conclusion

3. Terrorism studies
3.1 Introduction
3.2 The history of terrorism studies
3.3 Disciplines and approaches
3.4 Key authors and centers
3.5 Challenges and dilemmas
3.6 The current state of the art
3.7 Conclusion

4. Assumptions about terrorism
4.1 Introduction
4.2 Assumption one: Terrorism is caused by poverty
4.3 Assumption two: Terrorists are crazy
4.4 Assumption three: Terrorism is increasingly lethal
4.5 Assumption four: Today’s terrorism is predominantly anti-Western
4.6 Assumption five: Terrorism is successful

5. Assumptions and counterterrorism
5.1 Introduction
5.2 Assumption one: One can recognize a terrorist
5.3 Assumption two: De-radicalization of terrorists is possible
5.4 Assumption three: Decapitation of terrorist organizations works
5.5 Assumption four: Terrorism cannot be defeated
5.6 Terrorism can best be dealt with by way of holistic or wide approach

6. Future research topics in terrorism studies
6.1 Introduction
6.2 Under-researched topics
6.3 Fear and resilience
6.4 Fear and impact management
6.5 Conclusion
6.6 Reflection


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