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Contemporary Terrorism Studies

Contemporary Terrorism Studies (1st edn)

Diego Muro and Tim Wilson
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date: 01 April 2023

p. 946. The Social Science of Political Violencelocked

p. 946. The Social Science of Political Violencelocked

  • Stefan Malthaner,
  • Donatella della Porta
  •  and Lorenzo Bosi


This chapter examines the concept of political violence. Political violence is analysed through the process of radicalization, escalation, transformation, and disengagement resulting from interactions between multiple actors. The chapter explains how processual approaches offer a new way of trying to understand dynamic and continuously changing phenomena. Using processual approaches means taking on a critique of political violence explanations as an effect of socio-economic structural conditions, individual predispositions, or ideologies. The chapter also looks at the social movement theory, political opportunity structure approaches, and resource mobilization theory as alternative ways to study political violence. Appreciating continuity, interaction, context, and contingency are vital in understanding political violence.

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