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Cover Contemporary Terrorism Studies

28. Victims of Terrorism and Political Violence  

Orla Lynch and Carmel Joyce

This chapter focuses on victims of terrorism and political violence. Psychological and criminological research on victimhood challenges the portrayal of victims as rand and unlucky targets of indiscriminate violence. Research on victims is often concerned with the psychological impact of violence and this results often in Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). The chapter also highlights how victims of terrorism often become public victims and are politicized in the process. It also looks at the hierarchy of victimhood, the Just World Hypothesis, characteristics of an ideal victim, and differences between good and bad victims.

Chapter

Cover Contemporary Terrorism Studies

4. Conceptualizations of Terrorism  

Anthony Richards

This chapter looks into various conceptualizations of terrorism. Most terrorism scholars view terrorism as a distinctive phenomenon when compared with other forms of political violence. Terrorism is most often defined as the use of violence for the purpose of generating a psychological impact beyond the immediate victims or any sort of political motive. However, how to accurately define terrorism has long been the subject of contentious debates both within policy-making and the terrorism studies literature of the past fifty years. The chapter then lists the levels of analysing terrorism. These are: definition, conceptualization, and pejorative labeling. It notes how the psychological impact and terrorism is viewed as fundamental in understanding terrorism.