This chapter introduces the field of terrorism studies, which is the fastest-growing sub-discipline within the broader field of international relations. As a subject of study, terrorism is a cutting-edge field in terms of looking into how power relations are determined in the world today. Generally, terrorism studies have tended to see terrorism as a deliberate act of inciting of fear in other people. The chapter highlights the importance of accounting for the cost of lost lives while studying terrorism. The chapter then divides the book into three divisions: state of terrorism studies, debates in terrorism studies, and countering terrorism. Additionally, the chapter notes how case studies are used to examine concepts in relation to real-life experiences.
Diego Muro and Tim Wilson
2. What Are Terrorism Studies?
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.
Edited by Diego Muro and Tim Wilson
Contemporary Terrorism Studies is made up of three parts. Part One looks at the state of terrorism studies. Chapters here ask first, what are terrorism studies? These chapters also look at critical terrorism studies and conceptualizations of terrorism. The second part is about issues and debates in terrorism studies. This part starts off with an overview of the history of terrorism. It asks what the root causes of terrorism are and whether terrorism can ever be rational. Chapters here also look into old and new terrorism and social media and terrorism. To conclude this part, the last chapter here asks whether terrorism is effective. The third part of the book covers countering terrorism. Here, counterterrorism agencies are examined. Issues such as human rights, foreign policy, and international terrorism are covered. The chapters in this part also seek ways to prevent and counter violent extremism. They also consider victims of terrorism. The book concludes with an analysis of the end of terrorist campaigns.
4. Conceptualizations of Terrorism
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.
3. Critical Terrorism Studies
This chapter focuses on critical terrorism studies (CTS), which is an investigation into whether terrorism exists at all. These sorts of studies look into the different actors who play a part in different practices and consequences. CTS considers how the construction of the terrorist threat serves specific political, economic, and social functions. Additionally, CTS hopes for a political project aimed at changing the world's policies and practices of security and terrorism. The chapter lists the theoretical foundations of CTS, which derive from post-structuralism and constructivism, and the Frankfurt School's ideas on critical theory. Finally, the chapter shows that terrorism is primarily seen as a political issue under the stance of CTS.
Strategy in the Contemporary World
John Baylis, James J. Wirtz, and Jeannie L. Johnson
This book examines strategy in the contemporary world. Part I considers the enduring issues that animate the study of strategy and tackles topics ranging from the causes of war to questions about culture, morality, and war. Part II deals with issues that fuel strategic debates, with chapters on terrorism and irregular warfare, nuclear weapons, arms control, weapons of mass destruction, conventional military power, peacekeeping and humanitarian intervention, and cyberwar. Part III discusses critical and non-Western approaches to the study of strategy and security that have emerged in recent years, and concludes by reflecting on future prospects for strategic studies. This introduction provides an overview of strategic studies, criticisms that are made of strategic studies, and how strategic studies relates to security studies.
Edited by Alan Collins
Contemporary Security Studies provides an introduction to Security Studies. It features a wide breadth and depth of coverage of the different theoretical approaches to the study of security and the ever-evolving range of issues that dominate the security agenda in the twenty-first century. In addition to covering a large range of topical security issues, from terrorism and inter-state armed conflict to cyber-security, health, and transnational crime, the sixth edition features an examination of popular culture and its implications for security, as well as coverage of the on-going COVID-19 pandemic. Throughout, readers are encouraged to question their own preconceptions and assumptions, and to use their own judgement to critically evaluate key approaches and ideas. To help them achieve this, each chapter is punctuated with helpful learning features including ‘key ideas’, ‘think points’ and case studies, demonstrating the real-world applications and implications of the theory.
1. Introduction: What is Security Studies?
This chapter provides an introduction to Security Studies, the sub-discipline of International Relations that deals with the study of security. War and the threat to use force are part of the security equation, but the prevalence of threats is far-reaching for Security Studies. They encompass dangers ranging from pandemic and environmental degradation to terrorism and inter-state armed conflict. The latter is actually a sub-field of Security Studies and is known as Strategic Studies. This edition examines differing approaches to the study of security, such as realism, liberalism, social constructivism, and postcolonialism. It also investigates the deepening and broadening of security to include military security, regime security, societal security, environmental security, and economic security. Finally, it discusses a range of traditional and non-traditional issues that have emerged on the security agenda, including weapons of mass destruction, terrorism, energy security, and health.
10. When Do Individuals Radicalize?
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.
18. Social Media and Terrorism
This chapter tackles the role of social media in the evolution of terrorism. It dissects the key components of social media, using Twitter as a case study. It then highlights ways in which the emergence of social media has impacted modern terrorism. These ways relate to notions of asymmetry where terrorists seek to maximize their impact against materially stronger adversaries, the networked aspect of terrorism, and the importance of communication for terrorists. Communication here is defined very broadly. The chapter looks at how terrorists have adopted social media techniques in various parts of the world and considers some of the pitfalls, in addition to the benefits, this adoption can bring. The final part of the chapter delves into the relationship between online habits and behaviours on the one hand and their implications in the real world on the other.
19. Is Terrorism Effective?
This chapter examines the effectiveness of terrorism in delivering tactical returns. It shows how terrorism is largely ineffective in realising strategic goals. Political goals vary and include secession, overthrowing capitalism, and expelling an occupying force. Additionally, the tactical use of terrorism brings cohesion to a group's organization, ideology, goals, and constituencies. There is no consensus among scholars with regards to the political returns of terrorism. This is due to the methodological problems inherent in the controversy. The chapter then explores the advantages and disadvantages of using coercive intimidation to pursue political conclusions. It includes future studies that may be more inclusive, methodical, and productive.