Over the course of the first decade of the third millennium, terrorism has become a phenomenon that no state, society, or individual can afford to ignore. Particularly in the post-9/11 world, terrorism has not only turned into an ubiquitous fact and an omnipresent spectacle but also an alarming global concern. It is, nevertheless, surprising for many people that the global convergence towards growing fear and anxiety of terrorism has not necessarily led to a parallel convergence in our understanding and definition of the phenomenon. Defining terrorism today is no simpler a task than the days of the French revolution during which the term was first coined. Although definition exercises are often perceived by various politicians and practitioners as yet another bizarre avocation of scholars, attempts to redefine the term terrorism time and again is neither straightforward nor in vain.
This edited volume is the end result of an international workshop entitled “Social Dynamics of Global Terrorism and Prevention Policies”. The Sociological Association of Turkey, in response to the challenge of global terrorism, brought together in April 2006 over two dozen scholars and practitioners from around the world who are experts on the study of terrorism. The workshop was generously supported by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TÜBİTAK), and the Turkish General Directorate of Security. The editors would like to thank the granting institutions. We also would like to mention our gratitude to Önder Güneş and Kathryn Bourgeois-Asan of Middle East Technical University. This book would not have been possible without their meticulous language and copy editing. We thank them for their hard work and dedication. The editors also wish to express their gratitude to Birsen Gökçe, the president of the Sociological Association of Turkey, whose never-ending encouragement and support made this work possible. This book is dedicated to her.
This chapter highlights the difficulties of defining and analyzing the concept of terrorism at a time when “global terrorism” has become a phenomenon of global concern. Although lately there have been increasing pressures to design and implement prevention policies, there is no global agreement either on the definition or the understanding of the concept. It is, therefore, argued that approaches to such an elusive subject as terrorism necessitates holistic perspectives and trans-disciplinary studies.
(1) In this work, three brief criteria for delineating terrorism are discussed, the most important one being its indirect strategic character in view of the relative weakness of terrorists. (2) Second, the three basic forms of terrorism: anti-colonial terrorism (and ethno-cultural terrorism which may overlap), religious terrorism, and political-ideological terrorism are delineated, stressing their relative strengths and weaknesses and their driving moments. Further insight into a differential diagnosis comes from the tri-partition of organizational forms into sects, social movements (and coalitions) as well as parties. (3) Altogether, the persistence of ethno-cultural conflict (and terrorism) under conditions of modernization is stressed, one major factor being the social mobilization thesis of Deutsch, the other, the multiple means of mobilization and counter-mobilization available in a globalized world.
This chapter consists of two sections. The first section presents several theoretical statements and observations on social dynamics of global and local violence and terror. The second section presents theoretical statements, observations and debates on civil societal processes that might be helpful to reducing violence and terror.
This work deals with the definition of “fundamentalism” and the psychoanalysis of religion. The relationship between religious commitments, fundamentalist or mainstream, and unresolved individual psychological issues from childhood is explored. The possibility of creating a “therapeutic space” between warring enemy large groups is also discussed.
In this chapter, the fact of terror is examined in the context of globalization and the modernization process. As a result of September 11th attacks it is widely accepted that terror is now a global phenomenon. However, this work suggests that such an approach to terror activities is a rather misleading and political one. Global terror seems to be a tactical conceptualization rather than a scientifically supported one. To make this point clearer, the way in which the modernization process is perceived in the Islamic world and also the concept of the clash of civilizations is considered. Eastern societies have embraced the technological improvements achieved on the basis of rational principles of modernity, but at the level of the individuals' life, they resist against those principles. This resistance might prepare suitable ground which possibly sustains terrorist activities. It is concluded that elimination of terror from national and international affairs will only be possible after an overall elimination of the circumstances that yield it.
This work examines recent examples of ethnic separatist and religious terrorist campaigns with special emphasis on PKK and al Qaeda. The relevance of the state in terrorism and counter-terrorism, limitations of military force in counter-terrorism, and the relevance of political objective in terrorism and counter-terrorism is discussed.
Three examples of ethnically oriented terrorism, namely the cases of IRA, ETA, and PKK are discussed in detail in this chapter. The author attempts to analyze these distinct examples through an understanding of socio-economic and political structure of societies and states involved as well as their interaction with the international system. The potential responses of ethnic leadership to changes in the political context is also evaluated.
The main aim of this chapter is to explain and discuss the general features of left-wing terror organizations in Turkey. To achieve this aim, an introduction of the subject, including the historical background of terrorism in Turkey is given at first. Secondly, left-wing organizations are discussed. Herein, the main goals, strategies adopted, the recruitment process, education and training of the members and supporters, the organizational structures, financial sources, types of propaganda and activities of the organizations are explained. Finally, a conclusion includes the socio-economic background of the members who were arrested by the security forces. Secondary data and semi-structured interview techniques are used to collect the data needed.
This chapter presents an in-depth study of Islamist terrorism. The work mainly focuses on al Qaeda and its affiliates. The author provides rich set of data on the ideology of the movement, the global terrorist network and al Qaeda's current strategic situation.
This chapter examines the recent proliferation in counter-terrorism strategies and the prospects of the development towards a global rule of law. Within the framework of the theory of police bureaucratization two case studies, namely, the International Criminal Police Organization (Interpol) and the European Police Office (Europol) are presented to analyze the dynamics of international police cooperation.
Regardless of size and the level of threat it generates to the state and society, terror is considered as an internal threat in democratic systems. Terrorists are not the enemy to be destroyed but the criminal citizens of the respective country. The fight against terrorism, therefore, has to be carried out accordingly. The concept of “war against terror” can only be used metaphorically. But in real terms terror has to be solved by counter-terror methods, not by an all out war. This work, which is based on two types of terrorist threats in Turkey, will dicuss the advantages and disadvantages of classifying terror as an internal threat. The first example is the PKK terror which has been ongoing since the mid 1980s and the second example is the recent attacks on two synagogues in Istanbul.
This chapter is an inquiry into the social dimensions of terrorism. The potential global threat of terrorism and international response are explored and recent developments encouraging violence and potential threats are examined. A detailed presentation on the efforts of international organizations working on counter-terrorism is provided to demonstrate that international organizations have promptly reacted to terrorism by all possible means within the limits of their mandates.
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