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Terrorism - A Challenge to the State

NCJ Number
J Lodge
Date Published
257 pages
Through a series of detailed case studies, the rise and impact of terrorism in five European countries and their responses to the terrorist threat are examined.
The discussions focus on terrorism and counterinsurgency tactics in West Germany, Italy, France, the Netherlands, and Northern Ireland. The study of West Germany considers the historical, ideological, and sociological dimensions of terrorism in that country and the growth of internal security mechanisms to combat it. This process has been controversial because of the growth in the State's powers and its potential for personal intrusion. The phases of various kinds of terrorist activity of the right and left in Italy are traced from 1969 through 1979, with the Red Brigade (a leftist group) identified as the most systematic and organized terrorist group. The ineffectiveness of terrorist attacks upon symbols of the State and the economic system is considered due to Italy's fragmentation and dispersion of authority. The circumstances of nonterrorism in France are described and interpreted to be due largely to the values of democratic pluralism that make terrorism seem particularly irrational. The roots of the violent activity of the Provisional Irish Republican Army in Northern Ireland are described, and the British response is discussed. The study of terrorism in the Netherlands focuses on the violent activities of the South Moluccans. Cooperative efforts to combat terrorism in Europe are then outlined and shown to be limited to efforts to remove the 'political offense' label from certain defined terrorist acts, so as to permit them to be treated as criminal offenses which require prosecution or extradition. The concluding chapter includes suggestions for further European cooperation in combating terrorism. Notes and references accompany each chapter, and a selected bibliography contains about 140 entries. An index is also included.