Global Terrorism

Global Terrorism

Global Terrorism

Global Terrorism

Synopsis

This textbook is a comprehensive introduction to global terrorism, helping students to understand the history, politics, ideologies and strategies of both contemporary and older terrorist groups. Written in a clear and accessible style, each chapter explains a different aspect of terrorism and illustrates this with a wide variety of case studies from across the world. The unique combination of a genuinely historical focus and truly global coverage make this the ideal introductory textbook for anyone studying terrorism, or the general reader with an interest in the key issue facing 21st century society.

Excerpt

There should be a rule that you should never complain in front of your spouse about the textbooks that are available for courses because there is no answer when you are challenged to write one that you like better. That scenario was indeed the genesis of this textbook, but in this case the normal rule about complaining does not hold since we have been able to collaborate on this textbook and have been pleased with the result. We started writing the textbook before September 11, but the sad events of that day have made the task more important. Our concerns that we had about materials available for academic classes on terrorism have been heightened by the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. One of the major problems that we had with existing texts on terrorism was the tendency for there to be an over-emphasis on events and actors in the Middle East. Most American students have the misperception that virtually all terrorists are Arabs (or other Middle Easterners). They also believe that terrorism is a relatively recent phenomenon. In point of fact, terrorism is neither recent nor largely restricted to events in the Middle East, and textbooks should not inadvertently reinforce these misconceptions by focusing overly much on current events. Terrorism is deeply rooted in human history. This book has sought to balance the events in the Middle East by including discussions of events in other parts of the world and terrorist violence in other time periods. As a consequence, before September 11 it was not our intent to focus only on the Middle East, and this intent did not change with the attacks of that day. Of course, much of the discussion of terrorism in this book has to include those events since they are far too important to ignore or to downplay. Recent events in the United States, however, should not be covered to the exclusion of other cases of terrorist violence in the world. Events in the rest of the world are important as well.

This book also attempts to help limit one of the major problems that anyone teaching terrorism has to face. The use of anything but the most recent cases runs into the difficulty that not all the students will be familiar enough with world history (even recent world history) or geography to place the terrorist movements in the appropriate context. The instructor will often spend what seems to be an inordinate amount of time providing the context for the terrorist movement and its goals. The use of the case studies in this volume provides enough background to alleviate this difficulty for most of the cases. If the students have read the material, they will have the appropriate context for the analysis of the particular case or series of cases. The case studies are wide ranging in time and space, but they are very

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