A Time of Terror: How Democratic Societies Respond to Revolutionary Violence

A Time of Terror: How Democratic Societies Respond to Revolutionary Violence

A Time of Terror: How Democratic Societies Respond to Revolutionary Violence

A Time of Terror: How Democratic Societies Respond to Revolutionary Violence

Excerpt

We live in a time of terror. Innocents are slaughtered, statesmen murdered, airplanes hijacked, and officials kidnapped by men and women who have brought terror out of the history books or the guerrilla wars of the bush and into the open, democratic societies of the postindustrial world. States without nationality problems find their capitals used as arenas for media spectaculars choreographed by strange men pursuing alien causes--a Free Croatia, a Liberated Palestine, or some other luminous vision of a perfect society. Acting out of loyalty to a higher cause, the new gunmen appear to be beyond compromise; even, at times, beyond reason. The threatened nations have reacted in varying ways, in response to differing traditions, predilections, and possibilities, and more often than not in isolation.

The result has been that there is no common wisdom, no consensus on an appropriate democratic response, often not even agreement on a national policy. Yet the fact remains that something must be done--to stop the hijacking, or rescue the hostages, or end sanctuary. And during the last few years a lot has been done, not all desirable, it is true, but not all futile either. Nowhere in the growing literature on terrorism, however, does there exist a rigorous, crossnational analysis of what the response of the threatened has been.

Clearly, the time has come for a general book on the liberal, democratic response to terrorism. For me such a project has two special fascinations. Most of my academic life has been spent on the other side of the barricades, investigating the guerrillas, assassins, and gunmen--indeed, some of my best friends are or have been "terrorists" in the public eye.

Author Advanced search

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.