This chapter gives a basic overview of the field of terrorism studies. It looks at attempts to define the boundaries of terrorism as a subject. It traces the evolution of orthodox terrorism studies since the 1970s. The term terrorism was first coined during the French Revolution. Terrorism sparks powerful images of sudden, disruptive, and system-shaking political violence. The academic study of terrorism as it exists now reflects the shifting concerns of both governments and the public. Scolarship on terrorism has never been richer and more diverse than it is now. New research opportunties always raise new challenges so it will be interesting to see the field of terrorism studies evolve even further in the future.