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Understanding Terrorism: Challenges, Perspectives, and Issues Second Edition

NCJ Number
Gus Martin
Date Published
693 pages
This second edition updates the most recent theories and cases of terrorist activity and efforts to combat it over the last 3 years, in addition to providing the first edition's comprehensive analysis of the nature of contemporary terrorism.
In Part I, "Terrorism: A Conceptual Review," three chapters discuss definitions of "terrorism" and the root causes of violent political extremism. One chapter focuses on the primary factors in the personal and group histories of individuals and groups who are committed to terrorist tactics, with attention to their motives and psychological characteristics. The six chapters of Part II, "The Terrorists," guide readers in the development of skills in critically assessing and understanding historical and modern examples of political violence, particularly state-initiated and dissident-initiated terrorism. Chapters also distinguish among religious, ideological, international, and the emerging terrorist environments of gender-selective and criminal terrorism. The two chapters of Part III, "The Terrorist Trade," focus on how terrorist actions are accompanied by information campaigns designed to intimidate and chastise their enemies and recruit followers to their cause. The three chapters of Part IV, "Final Analysis," critique the United States' terrorism policies and discuss the risks for further attacks by domestic and international terrorists. Readers are challenged to assess trends and other factors likely to influence the near future of terrorism. Chapter discussion boxes, recommended Web sites, Web exercises, notes, recommended readings, and appendix A-B