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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.

Chapter

Cover Contemporary Terrorism Studies

10. When Do Individuals Radicalize?  

Rik Coolsaet

This chapter examines issues related to the radicalization of individuals. It explores the advent of terrorism studies. Early scholars laid the foundations for current thinking on terrorism. The chapter defines radicalization as the process wherein participants are drawn into a protest with the likelihood of a terrorist act taking place. The classic definition of radicalization has been much contested from its very beginning. The 9/11 attacks of Al-Qaeda gave terrorism studies a renewed boost. The chapter looks into various models which depict the steps of radicalization. It also looks at the factors which make an individual become a terrorist: conductive environment, opportunity, local mobilization hubs, and ideology. In most cases, the process of socialization into extremism and terrorism transpires gradually.