BOOKS: A Dangerous Game That Plays with Our Lives; Playing Politics with Terrorism: A User's Guide. Edited by George Kassimeris. Hurst. Pounds 16.50

Article excerpt

Byline: Reviewed by STUART LEE

In the current global political climate, regular discussion on the relationship between politics and terrorism is paramount.

Our perception relating to how terrorism affects the political agenda of both the government and the opposition needs to be challenged.

Political institutions and their agents around the world may still try to manipulate an act of terrorism against the state, or the fear of a terrorist act, in order to influence a political agenda.

But the examples featured within this impressive collection illustrate the consequential dangers of playing politics with terrorism and how the outcomes are not always desired.

In Playing Politics With Terrorism, George Kassimeris, a senior research fellow in conflict and terrorism at the University of Wolverhampton, draws upon instances from countries such as Australia, Italy, Peru, Russia, and the United States.

He provides the reader with texts featuring a comprehensively international analysis through expert discussion.

Utilising the essays from journalists, academics, and private researchers, this book illuminates refreshingly original topics from around the world.

Some of the case studies used might be recognisable to the reader through media coverage, but the essayists have repackaged the topics with interesting insights and often new evidence on issues which the reader might not already be aware.

This is particularly pertinent within the various discussions on the United Kingdom, and what one contributor states to be a construction of a false narrative by Tony Blair's government.

Drawing particular attention to two purportedly thwarted terrorist attempts to illustrate his point, journalist Peter Osbourne argues that the Blair government and their agents misled the British public regarding the current threat to domestic security from terrorists.

The act of providing misinformation to the public is also discussed in a later chapter on the Madrid train bombings.

The massacre of March 11, 2004, which killed 191 people and injured more than 1,800, had a major influence on the Spanish elections that took place just three days later. …