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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. 1579. What Are the Root Causes of Terrorism?locked

p. 1579. What Are the Root Causes of Terrorism?locked

  • Nick Brooke


This chapter explores the accuracy and validity of the root causes of terrorism. Following the wake of recent terrorist acts and campaigns, the public, media, and policymakers seek to understand the reason behind terrorism. The chapter mentions the difficulty of scholars trying to pin down root causes. It looks into controversies related to academic attempts to explain terrorism. Martha Crenshaw identifies preconditions and precipitants as the causes for terrorism. Tore Bjørgo categorizes structural, facilitator, motivational, and triggering causes. The chapter lists the political and structural roots of terrorism ranging around nationalism, religious extremism, education, and poverty. Another method when analysing the root causes of terrorism is to consider terrorism as a response to state behaviour.

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