Terrorism: A Very Short Introduction

Terrorism: A Very Short Introduction

Charles Townshend
How much do you like this book?
What’s the quality of the file?
Download the book for quality assessment
What’s the quality of the downloaded files?
Charles Townshend has written a helpful introduction to the subject of terrorism. He begins by discussing the definition of terrorism, a task more difficult than it might seem. He indicates that terrorism is often a matter of perspective since one person's terrorist is another person's freedom fighter. There are also questions about what counts as an act of terrorism. Do intentions and goals make some acts terrorist? Can a line be drawn at the kind of victims selected for a terrorist act? Townshend looks at some laws that define terrorism, USA and British law (as I recall). Even here we encounter problems because these laws could be applied to the actions of nations themselves. In my view, state terrorism is inadequately addressed in this book; I suspect because Townshend lacks a useable sense of what it might be. Yet I think that state terrorism is the easiest category of terrorism to define as well as the most pervasive form of terrorism in the world.
Townshend provides many historical examples of terrorism. They are all well chosen. He discusses the origins of terrorism in history: viz., the first terrorist groups, the philosophical patrimony of "propaganda by deed," assassination as terrorism and the terrorism during the French Revolution. He also explores different types of terrorism: revolutionary, nationalistic and religious. He ends by discussing counterterrorism as a strategy and correctly mentions the dangers inherent in such an approach. Townshend apparently believes that democracies will always be hampered in their responses to terrorism because of their high regard for human rights. Yet Townshend doesn't often discuss the many ways the "great democracies" have employed terrorism, either directly or through proxy forces, sometimes resulting in massive casualties, particularly in the third world nations. Although the western democracies might have a public relations problem in using terrorism, they certainly don't lack the aptitude.
If you want to read a short introduction to the topic of terrorism, then this will do...at times quite well.
Year:
2003
Publisher:
Oxford University Press, USA
Language:
english
Pages:
169
ISBN 10:
0192801686
ISBN 13:
9780192801685
Series:
Very Short Introductions
File:
PDF, 2.08 MB
IPFS:
CID , CID Blake2b
english, 2003
Read Online
Conversion to is in progress
Conversion to is failed

Most frequently terms