Terrorists, Victims, and Society: Psychological Perspectives on Terrorism and Its Consequences

Terrorists, Victims, and Society: Psychological Perspectives on Terrorism and Its Consequences

Terrorists, Victims, and Society: Psychological Perspectives on Terrorism and Its Consequences

Terrorists, Victims, and Society: Psychological Perspectives on Terrorism and Its Consequences

Synopsis

In today's climate, these is a powerful need for a balanced, expert and accessible account of the psychology of terrorists and terrorism.

Written by an expert team of psychologists and psychiatrists, these contributors have direct experience of working with terrorists, victims and those tasked with the enormous responsibility of attempting to combat terrorism.

The first section focuses on terrorists as individuals and as groups and provides a balanced and objective insight into the psychology of terrorists; what their motivations are and what keeps them involved in terrorist groups. The second section explores the huge question of the impact of terrorism; the direct and indirect affect on victims; how societies respond and how political leaders handle the threat and consequences of terrorism. The final section focuses on the question of how to respond to terrorist threat.

• The most up-to-date account of our understanding of terrorists, their psychology and the impact they have on the world around them

• Written by leading world experts on terrorist psychology

• A complete view of terrorism - looks at the terrorists themselves, their victims and society as a whole
TABLE OF CONTENTS

TERRORISM, TERRORISTS AND PSYCHOLOGY; THE SEARCH FOR THE TERRORIST PERSONALITY; BECOMING A TERRORIST; THE PSYCHOLOGY OF CYBER-TERRORISM; THE PSYCHOLOGY OF TERRORIST HOSTAGE-TAKING; THE PSYCHOLOGY OF SUICIDAL TERRORISM; LEAVING TERRORISM BEHIND; THE PSYCHOLOGICAL IMPACT OF ISOLATED ACTS OF TERRORISM; THE PSYCHOLOGICAL IMPACT OF LONG-TERM TERRORIST CAMPAIGNS; CHILDREN AND TERRORISM; VICTIMS OF TERRORISM AND THE MEDIA; RETALIATING AGAINST TERRORISTS; DEALING WITH TERRORISTS IN PRISON; DETERRING TERRORISTS

Excerpt

The Wiley Series in the Psychology of Crime, Policing and the Law publishes integrative reviews on important emerging areas of contemporary research. The purpose of the series is not merely to present research findings in a clear and readable form, but also to bring out their implications for both practice and policy. In this way, it is hoped that the series will not only be useful to psychologists, but also to all those concerned with crime detection and prevention, policing and the judicial process.

As Andrew Silke, the editor of Terrorism, Victims and Society: Psychological Perspectives on Terrorism and its Consequences, makes clear, this book is no fast-buck response to the events of September 11, 2001. Rather, it represents a considered and comprehensive appraisal from a psychological perspective of the motivations and origins of terrorists, the impact of their acts on its victims, and of ways of combating terrorism. While terrorism has been repeatedly studied from the perspective of its political, ethnic or religious roots, the psychological element has frequently been ignored.

The first section of the book is given over to the debate surrounding acts of terrorism and their perpetrators. The contributors do not duck the subjective and judgemental element of the label 'terrorist'—we must remember that the resistance heroes of the Second World War were called 'terrorists' by their Nazi occupiers—but focus on the personality and behaviour of terrorists. What combination of personality traits and family and societal influences produce a terrorist? The acts themselves are frequently horrific, with violence and death meted out to all, without regard to traditional distinctions between combatants and the innocent. As the contributors emphasise, such acts are rarely random but precisely calibrated for their psychological impact: terrorists can be psychologists too. To understand, but not excuse, such behaviour is the first step to coming to terms with terrorism.

The second section is devoted to the victims of terrorism and the impact of such acts on their lives, attitudes and behaviour. As we have seen in Northern Ireland and elsewhere, terrorism can persist over generations . . .

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