This is the first terrorism textbook based on sociological research. It adopts an innovative framework that draws together historical and modern, local and global, and social processes for a range of individuals, groups and societies. Individual behaviour and dispositions are embedded within these broader relationships and activities, allowing a more holistic account of terrorism to emerge. In addition, the shifting forms of identification and interwoven attitudes to political violence are discussed in order to explain the emergence, continuation, and end of ‘terrorist’ careers.
The book draws on examples from across the discursive spectrum, including religious, ‘red’ and ‘black’ racialist, nationalist, and trans-national. It also spans territories as diverse as Chechnya, Germany, Italy, Japan, Northern Ireland, Pakistan, Palestine, Saudi Arabia, South America, the UK, and the US.
Stephen Vertigans is Professor of Sociology in the School of Applied Social Studies, Robert Gordon University, Scotland. He has published widely on terrorism and related militant groups, with recent books including Militant Islam: A Sociology of Characteristics, Causes and Consequences (2009) and Terrorism and Societies (2008).
Introduction 1. A Sociological Approach to Terrorism: People, Places and Processes 2. History: The Legacy of Political Violence 3. Habitus: Terrorism and Violent Dispositions 4. Becoming a 'Terrorist': Processes into Groups 5. Group Dynamics: Trusting Terrorists, Secrets and Ties 6. Actions, Tactics and Targets: Emotions and Rationale Behind Terror Attacks 7. The End Game: Stopping and Leaving Terrorism 8. Concluding Thoughts: From Beginning to End