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Terrorism and the State: A Critique of Domination Through Fear

NCJ Number
W D Perdue
Date Published
240 pages
This book defines the nature of terrorism in general (domination through fear), discusses its manifestations through State institutions, and considers how State terrorism has been manifested in particular states throughout the world.
In a discussion of the ideology of terrorism, the various prisms for understanding and defining political violence are explored, followed by a chapter on State terrorism that provides a historical review that supports a revisionist position which places the issue in the context of global relations. Another chapter addresses the vital role of the media in the selling of international terrorism; the media are selective in defining and covering terrorism so as to exclude its institutional forms. Six chapters provide historically grounded cases in which State terrorism is systematically analyzed. Nuclear terrorism is examined in the context of the coercive power of nuclear weapons states, and racially based terrorism is analyzed in the South African system of apartheid. The issue of State-sponsored terrorism is contrasted with the cultivation of "terrornoia" as a geopolitical weapon in a chapter on Libya. A chapter on the internal war between Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization is addressed in the chapter on settler terrorism. Other chapters consider terrorism factors in the tactics of Iran and the "Irangate" scandal involving the United States. In the final chapter, official charges of Central American totalitarianism are contrasted with the history of hemispheric hegemony and the role of the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency and National Security Council in Nicaragua. A 336-item bibliography and a subject index